Central Rumors: Drummond, Butler, Pacers

The Pistons will begin extension talks with center Andre Drummond this summer with the aim of signing him to a long-term deal, most likely for the max, Terry Foster of the Detroit News reports. The Pistons want to lock up their franchise player even though they could have more flexibility to sign free agents and make trades next summer by waiting to re-sign him when he’s a restricted free agent, Foster continues. The incentive for Drummond is to get the guaranteed money now in case he suffers a significant injury, Foster adds. Money is apparently no object to get an agreement. “We have until the end of October so we will get into those talks in the next couple of weeks,” Pistons president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy said during a press conference. “What you are talking about there is more timing than anything. It is not like you will be haggling over dollars, so it is a different situation.”

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy admitted he took “a little bit of a gamble” with his commitment to point guard Reggie Jackson, who has never started a full season, John Niyo of the Detroit News writes. Jackson, a restricted free agent, agreed to a five-year, $80MM deal without any options to be the team’s floor leader going forward. Van Gundy wanted to have Jackson for the long haul. “You’ve got to weigh in future years,” Van Gundy told the Detroit media. “Most of the guys who signed free-agent contracts [this July], they’ve got an out after year three or four. We were willing to pay more money to not have the out.”
  • Jimmy Butler received a $4.6MM signing bonus when he re-signed with the Bulls, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets. Butler stayed put with a five-year deal worth approximately $95MM. A 5% trade kicker is another element to the contract, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers will use cap room to re-sign guard Rodney Stuckey since they renounced his non-Bird rights, Pincus reports. They also renounced their rights to Andrew Bynum, David West and Luis Scola, among others, Pincus adds (Twitter links). Stuckey agreed to a three-year, $21MM deal to remain with Indiana.

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