SVG scoffs at trade rumors involving Pistons as deadline nears
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AUBURN HILLS – As the trade deadline clock ticked under 45 hours, all was quiet for the Pistons. Well, quiet except for Stan Van Gundy snorting as one rumor more preposterous than the next makes the rounds of social media.
The extended All-Star weekend began with Reggie Jackson’s name involved in trade rumors and ended with Andre Drummond’s being bandied about.
“The rumors don’t mean anything to me,” Van Gundy said after the Pistons regrouped and practiced late Tuesday afternoon with a Thursday game with Charlotte looming. “One of you guys asked me over the weekend how far along the D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green trade for Reggie was. The first time I heard about it was when I got that text, so I would assume not that far. I usually can just laugh it off, but it gets a little annoying.”
Drummond hasn’t seen his name in trade talks before, not a surprise since during his first four seasons he was that most valuable of commodities – a young player vastly outperforming a rookie scale contract. That’s no longer the case, which makes trade rumors a little more difficult to dismiss out of hand. But Van Gundy dispelled any notion that Drummond was being shopped or is on the verge of being dealt. General manager Jeff Bower has brought nothing to him regarding a serious Drummond trade proposal.
“Jeff talks to virtually every team in the league all the time. As I’ve said before, every name on our roster has come up. That’s his job. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing. There hasn’t been a serious discussion about Andre, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been discussions about Andre. The concern, I guess, would be from Andre’s standpoint if nobody had any interest in him.”
“That’s just the way it is,” Drummond said. “Everybody’s name gets thrown around when you’re a high-profile guy. My name happened to be in there. I’m not mad or anything like that. I’m still here to play basketball. Whatever happens, happens. I can’t control that.”
The Pistons hit the All-Star break having gone 6-3 over their past nine games and holding down the No. 8 spot in the standings. They have 13 of their final 25 games at home and a schedule that appears to favor them, ranked by at least one website as the NBA’s easiest. After playing the first half of the season with rotation players in and out of the lineup, they’re fully healthy coming out of the All-Star break.
“We’re in the playoffs as we speak,” Drummond said. “We can’t be content with that. We’ve got to string together some wins to get ourselves in a good position. We got the first-half-of-the-season kinks out. Getting Reggie back was tough for us, trying to get him acclimated, getting back to 100 percent. He looked great today in practice. He looked like he was himself again. We’ve got a game Thursday. Got to take it from there.”