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Pistons C Andre Drummond, who has $28,751,774 player option: ‘I’m a free agent next summer’

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AUBURN HILLS, MI - JUNE 21: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons attends the press conference on June 21, 2019 at Detroit Pistons Practice Facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Pistons center Andre Drummond holds a $28,751,774 player option for 2020-21.

Did he tip his hand already?

Drummond (hat tip: Aaron Ferguson of PistonPowered)

I’m a free agent next summer.
It should be fun. I’m excited. I think I’m the only one that has a big contract coming up for that year.
For next year’s free agency, obviously the year I have this year is really important, this being my contract year. The way I play will show what next offseason can do for me. So, I think for me as a player, just continue to play hard and do what I do best and making an effort to help my team on both ends of the court. Anything is possible next summer.

Drummond on Instagram:


Drummond completed his rookie-scale contract then re-signed with the Pistons as a restricted free agent in 2015. Doing it that way, rather than signing an extension, was just a formality to increase salary-cap flexibility. Drummond never really explored the market.

He’ll have that opportunity next summer or the following summer as an unrestricted free agent.

Drummond is right: Next year will be a weak free-agent class. Beyond Anthony Davis, it’s a steep fall. Drummond – an excellent rebounder and finisher – projects to be among the best players available. He’ll be 26 and could land a huge contract, in Detroit or elsewhere. That said, it’s tough for limited centers like him.

At this point, Drummond planning to opt out is probably the best thing he can do for himself and, by extension, the Pistons. The only way he’ll have better choices than guaranteeing himself $28,751,774 is with a strong season. A contract year is great motivation.

If he falls short, he can always opt in. It’s a fallback route. Nothing he says now is binding. But the goal should be playing well enough to opt out.