The New York Knicks are viewed as one of the two teams that will most likely pursue Andre Drummond should the Detroit Pistons decide to shop their franchise center aggressively. Despite Stan Van Gundy’s insinuation about the possibility of trading Drummond, the Pistons are just gauging the market for the big man at this point.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, however, predicts that the trade buzz surrounding Drummond will ramp up around February and cites Knicks general manager Scott Perry as a potential trade suitor for the former All-Star.

Drumming Drummond trade

Perry worked as an assistant general manager under then Pistons GM Joe Dumars when they drafted Drummond no.9 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Knicks have three pure centers on their roster right now (Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez, and Enes Kanter), but none of them are franchise-changing big man.

The thought of pairing a dominant rebounder and rim protector in Drummond with a versatile big like Kristaps Porzingis is intriguing in many ways. The Knicks, who are entering year 1 of the post-Carmelo Anthony era, can surely fast track the rebuilding process with another big trade this season.

Drummond’s production dropped a bit last season, averaging 13.6 points (almost three points below 16.2 ppg during the 2016-17 season) on 53 percent FG clip with 13.8 rebounds in 29 minutes per contest.

His free-throw shooting percentage was still one of the worst in the league at 38 percent, while there were growing concerns over his commitment to protecting the rim.

Despite coming off a subpar season, many NBA executives are still high on Drummond’s potential. Moreover, the player’s massive contract ($105 million over four seasons) doesn’t seem a problem at all to these interested teams.

The Los Angeles Clippers are another ballclub that could potentially have interest in Drummond because of his ties with Clippers executive VP Lawrence Frank, who was the Piston’s head coach during the player’s rookie year.

Valanciunas’ situation

The Toronto Raptors locked up Norman Powell to a four-year, $42 million extension.

The 24-year old Powell became eligible for a rookie scale contract extension a year earlier than some of his fellow 2015 Draft class members because of his status as a second-round pick (46th overall). However, Powell’s extension also compromised the Raptors their payroll flexibility, putting the team in the luxury tax territory.

According to Hoops Rumors writer Luke Adams, the Raptors may be compelled to make cap-clearing moves in the foreseeable future, citing Jonas Valanciunas ($16.5 MM) as a potential salary dump candidate. “If staying out of the tax – or even just creating more cap flexibility – is important to the Raptors, Masai Ujiri and the front office may push to eventually find a taker for Jonas Valanciunas,” per Adams.