Andre Drummond wants to sign a rookie scale extension with the Pistons this summer, reports Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter). Drummond is eligible to sign one between the end of the July Moratorium next week and October 31st, and if he doesn’t, he’ll be set for restricted free agency next year.
The news isn’t altogether surprising, though it indicates that the Jeff Schwartz client likes the direction the Pistons are headed and wants to firm up a commitment as soon as possible. There were persistent whispers about the center’s level of contentment in Detroit, as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote in January, but presumably Drummond has become more comfortable since then.
Pistons owner Tom Gores called Drummond a “max player” in April, likely setting the table for negotiations this summer. The max is expected to surge right along with the salary cap next year, so an estimated starting salary would be nearly $21MM, or about $25MM if Drummond unexpectedly wins MVP to trigger the Derrick Rose rule this coming season. The Pistons can give Drummond a deal for up to five years with 7.5% raises.
Detroit would be able to keep a smaller cap hold, worth only $8.18MM, on the books if it waited until restricted free agency to do a deal with Drummond, though he could sign his qualifying offer or take a short-term offer sheet from another team in that scenario.