Yeah, that really just happened.
Shockwaves were sent through Motown on Thursday, as Detroit traded franchise player and two-time All-Star Andre Drummond to the division rival Cleveland Cavaliers for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 2nd round pick. The move marks a new era for the Pistons, as Drummond was with Detroit for nearly all of the 2010’s.
The controversial move will change the Pistons’ outlook for years to come, and a new chapter has been created for Detroit. Here’s that, and everything else that happened last week for the Pistons:
The Week In Games:
To open the week, the Pistons took a loss to the surprising Memphis Grizzlies, 96-82 in Memphis. Drummond led the Pistons with 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Reggie Jackson had a horrendous 1-16 shooting performance on the night. The third quarter proved to be an awful one for the Pistons, as Memphis’ suffocating defense gave the Pistons trouble all night. To make matters even more dibiliating, Detroit was without Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris.
The Pistons followed that loss with a win against the Phoenix Suns, 116-108 in Detroit. Andre had 31 points and 19 rebounds, and unbeknownst to the Piston faithful, it would be his last game rocking the Piston red, white and blue. Detroit dominated on the inside, while Reggie Jackson contributed with a strong 25 points and nine assists. It was a great way for the duo of Reggie and Andre to end their time together.
That loss would be followed by two more L’s for Detroit post-Drummond trade, where the Pistons first fell to OKC 108-101, then falling to the Knicks 95-92. These were the first two games since 2012 (!) where the Pistons didn’t have Andre on the roster.
The absence of Drummond allowed Wood to shine, where he dropped 27 and 12 against the Thunder, and 17 and 11 against the Knicks. It also shined light on the massive void of rebounding we now have with Drummond gone. The Knicks out-rebounded Detroit 47-28.
The Bad Boys Breaking News
It just doesn’t feel the same anymore.
The move, while enraging many of the Detroit faithful, gives the Pistons $46 million in cap space, and creates much needed relief for a team stuck in financial purgatory.
But….. that is ALL we could get?
It was not too long ago that the Pistons were rumored to be chasing first-rounders or young players for the league’s rebounding leader. Instead of a lottery pick or a player that had potential, we are left with a guy who was a laughing stock for Detroit years ago, John Henson, and a low-ceiling sophomore in high school.
Maybe I am being too harsh here, and this was all the front office could leverage for Drummond. But this move is an indictment on the conservatism the past front offices of Detroit have practiced since the dawn of the past decade. Drummond could have potentially brought back more if he was moved last year.
Another frustrating aspect of this trade was how Andre reacted to it. Based on his tweets, it seems clear that the Pistons didn’t inform Andre that he was being traded at all. Drummond took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the move:
Debate all we want about this move, but what is done is done. It has been time for the Pistons to start a new chapter, and that is exacrtly what Stefanski has decided to do here. We will miss you Andre, thank you for all your contributions to the Pistons and this city.
As for other news, the trade for Knight and Henson put the Pistons above the 15-player limit, forcing the Pistons to cut Tim Frazier from the roster. Frazier’s had a disappointing tenure with the Pistons and Detroit has decided to move on.
The Pistons held back on making other moves, not trading Luke Kennard, Markieff Morris or Derrick Rose. Talks with the Suns over Kennard, which began this week, stalled due to disputes over the first round pick that the Suns would be sending in return, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Finally, another longtime Piston has been rumored to go, as reports emerged that Reggie Jackson was considering a buyout from Detroit to join a Los Angeles team. That report would later be denied by Jackson, but could remain a strong possibility for weeks to come espcially with Darren Collison reportedly not un-retiring.
The Weekly Piston Awards:
Game of the Week: Pistons defeat Phoenix Suns, 116-108
Each week we’ve done POP On The Clock, it’s only been one win per week. That did not change here, as Detroit got its only win vs. Phoenix this week. This was the last game of Andre Drummond we got to see, where he dropped 31 and 19 in his going-away party. A bittersweet way to see our franchise player go.
Player of the Week: Christian Wood
With Drummond officially gone, it’s time for Wood to step up. And step up he did, as he had strong outings in back-to-back games after the trade. Wood is having a breakout season with Detroit and it is great to have another player to get behind in what seems like a lost season for the boys in blue.
Play of the Week:
Pistons Twitter Tweet of the Week:
The POP Podcast: The shocking trade of Drummond is the topic of this week, and the podcast can be found here.
The Week Ahead:
Detroit will embark on its first full week without Drummond on the roster, facing off against Charlotte, Orlando, Milwaukee and Portland.
(Featured Image: Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)