The Detroit Pistons appear likely to trade center Andre Drummond by the trade deadline. The Phoenix Suns should jump in an steal the defensive-minded center.
However, while stars are becoming available more and more often than ever before, when one does hit the market, beggars like the Phoenix Suns who are starved for one to play alongside Devin Booker, should not be choosers, and James Jones should jump at the opportunity to improve his roster whenever and however possible.
The surprisingly still only 26-year-old Andre Drummond is a star, although admittedly not the star that one might have believed Phoenix would target or acquire.
That said, there are multiple benefits to acquiring Drummond that make the opportunity a very interesting possibility.
By trading for Drummond, the Phoenix Suns would get a very good defensive and rebounding center who, combined with Ayton, would only enhance the number of possessions that the offense would have per game with the lack of offensive rebounds allowed by a team who could have both on the court.
Drummond is today too what the Phoenix Suns hope that Ayton will be someday soon, averaging 17.6 points per game (a career-high) while leading the league for the third consecutive season (and four of the last five years) with 15.9 rebounds, and a very good 1.8 blocks as well (he would have competed with Mark Eaton, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Dikembe Mutombo in the 1980s and 90s as a league-leader in blocks if he played in that era).
Although his free throw percentage is a terrible 62.1% this season, he gets to the free throw line significantly more than Ayton does (5.1 per game compared to Ayton’s 1.4), resulting in the kind of physical play that can get the opposition centers into foul trouble – exactly what Ayton does not achieve when he is on the court.
If the Phoenix Suns could acquire Drummond without trading Ayton (which not only does that appear possible based on the trade rumors surrounding Drummond, but would be the only way that I would even consider making the trade if I were Jones), then Ayton will have at least a little time with the successful veteran to learn a bit from on a day-to-day basis, if he is to be then turned loose on the league by next season.