Pistons' Drummond dissects Durant deal via Twitter

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Andre Drummond

Orlando, Fla. — Following Kevin Durant’s announcement Monday that he’ll leave the Thunder and play with the Warriors next season, social media flooded with the news and reactions.

That included several NBA players, such as Pistons center Andre Drummond, who asked his followers on Twitter about their reactions to the move. Drummond himself agreed to a five-year max deal with the Pistons on Friday worth about $125 million.

Durant’s deal signals a shift in power from the Thunder, who succumbed to the Warriors after holding a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals, to the Warriors, the 2015 champions and runner-up last season.

“Everyone is so hyped up on the match-up problems on the offensive end?” Drummond posted on Twitter. “They still gotta come down the other end. Not a very big team.”

The Warriors were one of the top defensive teams last season, but some of that was due to center Andrew Bogut — whom the Warriors traded to the Mavericks on Monday to make salary cap room to fit Durant’s salary — and Festus Ezeli, who may also need to be jettisoned.

With four All-Stars, the Warriors may not have to worry much about the center position, but Drummond’s point is well made. Durant is 6-foot-11 and Draymond Green played center in the Warriors’ smaller lineup, but they could have some difficulty rebounding, as shown when the Thunder dominated with their bigger lineup in the playoffs.

“No shade to the Warriors — they’re going to be the best team in the league on paper,” Pistons wing Stanley Johnson told The News on Monday. “There’s not many teams we won’t be able to match up with. Loading up, even if they had five All-Stars, that doesn’t bother me.”

The Pistons split the season series with the Warriors last season, winning at The Palace, dealing the Warriors one of their nine losses in a historic 73-win season.

Johnson is ready for the challenge of playing the Warriors again next year and sees adding Durant as a positive for the league.

“That’s good for our league. We’re going to see a lot of teams start doing that and I think it makes it more competitive,” Johnson said. “They have a great team and great players. They all have a role and what they do in the league and they’re very set in their ways.

“Guys (have lots of years) in the league. As their strengths are good, their weaknesses are just the same as well.”

Drummond also wondered aloud how the Warriors might fill out their roster, with four All-Stars using a majority of the salary cap and having to use role players to fill in the blanks.

“No shade over here just a fact, it will be interesting to see what lineup they decide to use....,” Drummond later posted to Twitter.

Unbeaten in Orlando

The Pistons improved to 2-0 in summer league play, with a 73-68 win over the Orlando Magic Blue squad on Monday afternoon. Lorenzo Brown had 19 points and six steals, Henry Ellenson 10 points and seven rebounds and Stanley Johnson eight points and 10 rebounds.

They struggled throughout the game, converting only 30 percent (18-of-61) from the field and only 1-of-18 on 3-pointers.

“I told the guys that you have to be able to win a lot of different ways in the NBA,” associate coach Bob Beyer said. “We didn’t shoot the ball at all, either from 2 or from 3 but we did get to the FT line 40 times and made 36.

“But really, we won this game because of our defense.”

Holding a three-point lead in the final minute, Brown blocked a shot by the Magic’s Nick Johnson with 10 seconds left to help preserve the win. 
The Pistons got a point for winning each of three quarters and four points for winning the game, pushing their total to 15 points, which is tied for first with the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard