DETROIT – Detroit Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski spoke about trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the NBA Trade Deadline.
Drummond was traded to Cleveland for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 second-round draft pick.
“We were going into this year trying to win basketball games and make the playoffs,” Stefanski said on a conference call with media Friday morning, adding injuries derailed the vision for the roster this year. “We decided, this is the time, we have to make a move, and that’s why we did it."
Stefanski said very clearly that this is now a rebuild.
“We are looking to rebuild. What the future holds is going to be interesting," Stefanski said, adding cap flexibility is now in play for them. “Having the flexibility, it’s great to have it, now let’s use it wisely.”
On the return for the trade, Stefanski said the center position is not as valuable as it once was. “That’s not specifically about Andre, it just is what it is,” adding that teams are now playing without centers.
Drummond, 26, was drafted by the Pistons in 2012. He played 591 games in Detroit, averaging 14.4 points and 14 rebounds per game in his career. This season, he was averaging 17.8 points and 15.8 rebounds per game.
After news of the trade broke, Drummond took to Twitter to slam the team for not telling him before trading him.
“The worst thing in the world is having to trade someone. Emotions are raw. Dre knew he was in trade talks," Stefanski said. “Emotions are raw and I understand that."
Stefanski said the team is happy with young player development, noting improvements with Bruce Brown, Svi Mykhailiuk and Christian Wood.
“Sekou is a roller coaster. He’s playing exactly how I thought he would,” said Stefanski.
The Pistons are currently 19-34, sitting the the 10th spot of the Eastern Conference. Detroit takes on the Thunder tonight in Oklahoma City.