Unlike the free agent frenzy this summer, next year’s open market will produce precious little drama.
Unless Anthony Davis is serious about testing the waters after the Lakers expended many assets to acquire him, there will be no marquee names on the unrestricted free agent list.
Pistons center Andre Drummond might be the most intriguing and polarizing player on the market.
He can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines his player option of $28.75MM. It might be the ideal time for Drummond to test the waters, considering the lack of star power in next year’s free agent class.
He’s the league premier rebounder, particularly at the offensive end. Despite not developing a 3-point shot — though coach Dwane Casey is willing to give him some chances in the future — Drummond averaged a career-best 17.3 PPG last season.
His free throw shooting is still poor but he’s improved enough to stay on the court in crunch time, going from below 40 percent to around 60 the past two seasons.
He’s adept in pick-and-roll situations and led his team in blocks and steals last season. However, his overall defense often leaves something to be desired.
The Pistons have a dilemma on their hands. They could try to work out an extension with Drummond, who is still only 26 and in the prime of his career.
They could also opt to play things out and perhaps trade him before the deadline if their season goes sour. However, if Drummond has a big year and they hold onto him, they could lose him for nothing next summer and face another long rebuild.
Since Drummond didn’t make an All-NBA team last season, he’s not eligible for the super max. If he wanted a maximum extension, he’d have to decline his player option, then receive a 20 percent raise on his $27MM salary for the upcoming season.
With 8% raises during the ensuing three seasons, Drummond could receive a four-year, $145.65MM extension beginning in 2020/21.
The Pistons have been handcuffed by a bad salary cap situation but beyond Blake Griffin‘s contract, they have few salary commitments after this season and will be in pretty good position to make moves next summer.
That leads us to our question of the day: Should the Pistons offer Andre Drummond an extension? If so, would it be in Drummond’s best interests to accept the offer or should he shop his services in a weak free agent market next summer?
Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.