Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported this month that the Detroit Pistons have talked to the Atlanta Hawks and several other teams about Andre Drummond ahead of this season's trade deadline.
It's still unknown which "other teams" Wojnarowski was referring to, but one of them might be the Toronto Raptors. According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Raptors - as well as the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks - have "registered interest" in the two-time All-Star.
Goodwill added that Drummond has a relationship with Kyle Lowry.
Boston, Dallas, Toronto have also registered interest in Andre Drummond, according to sources. Drummond has relationships with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry- Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 3, 2020
That brings us to a simple question: Should the Raptors make a move for Drummond?
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): I'm going to say no.
While Drummond is an enticing name and someone that Raptors fans would probably be excited to acquire, I'm not sure he makes them that much better than they already are.
You mentioned in your trade destinations piece for Drummond that Toronto would likely have to give up the expiring contracts of Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka. I'm not sure he fits in with this team more than either of those already established pieces.
What do you think? Is this the move that would help the Raptors get back into that mix of Eastern Conference contenders?
Rafferty: I'm on the same page as you. I'm not sure he raises their ceiling much this season and I think they'd be better off keeping their books as clear as possible for 2021 when the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, CJ McCollum and Jrue Holiday are set to become free agents.
In saying that, I can understand why the Raptors have been brought up as a potential destination. Perhaps the best way to look at it is through the lens of him being a rental. Because if the Raptors are going to lose Gasol and/or Ibaka this offseason - both of them will be unrestricted free agents and they don't make a ton of sense to this team long-term - they could spend the second half of this season seeing how Drummond fits with Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry.
If he fits in well, they could offer him an extension. If he doesn't, they can let him walk in free agency. They run the risk of losing Gasol and/or Ibaka for nothing anyway, so why not kick the tires on a younger player like Drummond?
It obviously depends on what the Pistons would want in addition to Gasol or Ibaka - I don't think giving up OG Anunoby or VanVleet would be worth it, for example - but if the Raptors can get Drummond for an expiring contract and a pick...
Irving: Is Drummond, Siakam, Lowry and the supporting cast good enough to win the East this year, though?
You talk about it being a potential one-year rental and that it could be a testing period to see how he fits in with their core, but even if they click to the absolute fullest, I'm not sure Drummond puts them over the top to win their conference.
It's a relatively low-risk, high-reward with Gasol and Ibaka both on expiring contracts and Drummond likely declining his player option no matter what to test the waters this offseason, but I don't love the fit stylistically.
If you toy with the idea that it does work and let's say hypothetically the Raptors do re-sign him, that almost completely takes them out of recruiting any of those names you mentioned in 2021.
I think it's best they stay put.
Rafferty: I mean, yeah, ultimately I'm on the same page as you. More than anything, Drummond doesn't strike me as someone this front office would go after. He's arguably the best rebounder in the league, but I think they'll prioritize getting a better defender, passer and shooter at the centre position moving forward, whether it's Gasol and/or Ibaka on more team-friendly contracts or someone else.
There's also this, for what it's worth:
There's nonsense out there apparently about Andre Drummond and the Raptors- Doug Smith: Raptors (@SmithRaps) January 4, 2020
A long-time advance scout less than a month ago
"He'll get 20 and 20 and have no impact on the game"
So maybe the Raptors aren't a realistic option after all.
Irving: This has sounded like a Drummond hate-fest on my end so far, but that's really not the case. I think his talents are sold short and often just chalked up as "empty calories" because his teams haven't been all that successful.
Like you just said, he's the best rebounder in the NBA. That type of skillset is needed somewhere.
So if not the Raptors, then which team is your favourite destination for Drummond?
Rafferty: The teams I wrote about are the Hawks, Celtics, LA Clippers and Charlotte Hornets, with the Raptors, Mavericks and New York Knicks being honourable mentions.
Of those seven teams, the Clippers are the most interesting to me, but it would be so difficult for them to match Drummond's salary of $27.1 million this season that they probably aren't a realistic option.
What about you?
Irving: The Celtics are an interesting destination just because Drummond fills a need. But kind of like you just said with the Clippers, I don't think Boston would be willing to move any of the players necessary to make it work with the salary-wise.
So I think the Mavericks are my favourite potential Drummond destination. Give Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis a little more fire power and see how it clicks this season. If it works out, it could mean a deep playoff run. If it doesn't, you let him walk this offseason and keep moving.
Rafferty: You seem to be more on board with the Mavericks taking a flier on Drummond than the Raptors. Why is that?
Irving: It's just because I believe Toronto's continuity is part of what makes that team so great. They're a tough team to beat when healthy because they're familiar with each other. (You can honestly see that championship swagger carried over from last season).
Dallas' success, on the other hand, is still something new. I don't think roster turnover would affect them as much as it would the Raptors.
Rafferty: Interesting. I guess we'll see. It doesn't appear as though a trade is imminent, but Wojnarowski reports that there's a growing belief Drummond will be on a different team by the season's end.
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.