Despite Drummond's Issue With Trade, Stefanski Says Pistons 'Handled It Well'

He said they reached out before it went public.

97.1 The Ticket
February 07, 2020 - 11:31 am
Andre Drummond

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Andre Drummond was none too pleased when he learned Thursday afternoon that he'd been traded to Cleveland. 

While he knew his name had been in trade talks, he groused that he got 'no heads up' from the Pistons before the deal went through.

Drummond Bristles At Trade: 'No Heads Up' From Pistons

Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski understands where Drummond was coming from -- but he feels the front office handled the situation well. He said the Pistons alerted Drummond before the trade went public. 

"I’ve always felt that if any player (is going to be traded), I would try to give a heads up to the agent of where we’re going — and if it was hot, tell them that we’re progressing. I always feel that you should get to the player and the agent first, which is almost impossible in today’s age, but we did that yesterday," said Stefanski. "We didn’t wait at all.

"Our first thought when we deiced to make the move was that we would get to Andre and his agent ASAP, so that no one could tweet it out or announce it without the two people knowing about it. I thought we handled it well on our end."

In a tweet shortly after the trade, Drummond wrote, "If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty. I’ve given my heart and soul to the Pistons, and to have this happen with no heads up makes me realize even more that this is just a business!"

Stefanski Says Pistons Ready To Rebuild: 'Just Making Playoffs Not Good Enough'

Stefanski acknowledged it was a 'difficult decision' to trade Drummond, who was drafted by Detroit in 2011. 

"Listen, the worst thing in the world is to have to trade someone who’s been here," he said. "This is the only place he’s been, emotions are raw. Dre knew he was in trade talks and I was taking to his representatives about different things, Cleveland came in late. I’d guess you’d have to talk to Dre what exactly he means. But again, emotions are raw when this stuff happens, I understand that." 

Ultimately, the trade was in the best interests of the Pistons. They couldn't risk the possibility of Drummond opting in for $29 million next season as they head into a rebuild. 

"We have much more (cap) flexibility," Stefanski said. "And with Andre's large contract looming over us, that might have retarded the progress of our process another year."