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Report: Andre Drummond Puts Hold on Contract Talks

According to Keith Langlois, editor of Pistons.com, Andre Drummond doesn’t want to discuss contract negotiations until next summer and has told Stan Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons coach and general manager as much.

This, while newsworthy, there are three things to bear in mind about this.

  1. Van Gundy has made no secret that Drummond is the future of the team and has done everything to build around him.
  2. Kawhi Leonard didn’t sign his extension until summer.
  3. Neither did Jimmy Butler.

What does all of that have to do with Drummond? There are two different reasons a team and/or player might be wanting to delay an extension. The first is cap space. By agreeing to not sign until the summer, the Pistons have more cap space available to them. And according to a pair of follow-up tweets, that could very well be part of the reasoning.

The only reason to doubt that as the reason is that Drummond is the one approaching Van Gundy about it, and it’s a more “organizational” type of thinking. That’s what the San Antonio Spurs did with Kawhi Leonard last fall. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible that Drummond is acting in Detroit’s best interest, but players aren’t typically looking out for the long-term cap situation of the team they’re playing for; they’re just wanting to get paid. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Jimmy Butler was such a case last year. He wanted to get paid more than he was being offered, so he delayed the extension until this summer when he got a max contract.

Neither Leonard nor Butler ever even had a discussion with another team, and it’s highly doubtful that Drummond does. And it may be that the most intriguing thing about this scenario is that a player is taking a proactive stance in securing a better team around him by jockeying his contract status. Drummond is taking some risk, as if he signs an extension now, it’s guaranteed, even if there’s an injury.

That, more than Drummond potentially being on the move, is what wakes this newsworthy.

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