The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired two-time NBA All-Star Andre Drummond during last year’s trade deadline. They got him for ten cents on the dollar from the Detroit Pistons, who only asked for Brandon Knight, John Henson (both are now free agents), and a 2023 second round pick.
It was an excellent deal for someone in Drummond’s caliber, so it appeared that the rebounding machine could be in Cleveland for years to come. Just a year later, though, which only resulted in 33 combined games across a pair of half seasons, the Cavaliers are ready to move on. Such was made apparent last month, when they traded a first-round pick for a new rim-protecting Center, Jarrett Allen.
Fast forward to a few weeks and it pretty much became official. Last February 16th, the Cavs announced that Drummond will not play until they can trade or buy him out:
“The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer planning to play Andre Drummond as they work to trade the two-time All-Star center before the NBA’s March 25 deadline.
The Cavaliers are moving to make Jarrett Allen the franchise’s long-term starting center and believe it’s unfair to Drummond to limit his minutes as the organization transitions to Allen, sources told ESPN.”
A buyout would open plenty of possibilities, but ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski has since reported that his sources believe the big man isn’t favouring that option.
Then again, considering the alleged issues between the two parties, we can’t expect Drummond to have much power. Also, he’s not a household name, and thus won’t have the same treatment that disgruntled superstars had.
Who are the interested teams?
According to FourtyEightMinutes, plenty of teams are. After all, he has led the league in rebounds in three of the last four seasons while being a reliable hustler on defense:
“Drummond supposedly would be just fine with landing with the New York Knicks. Other teams with supposedly interested include the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. Along with those, the Cavs have already talked with the Toronto Raptors.”
The Brooklyn Nets are indeed a preferable spot. Drummond tagging along with all that firepower will make the team much scarier and his life easier. Brooklyn, however, may have ran out of reasonable trade chips following the blockbuster Harden deal. Unloading sharpshooter Joe Harris wouldn’t be ideal since he plays a vital supporting role in the high-powered offense. It’s already slim pickings after Harris, unfortunately.
We can argue that playmaking guard Spencer Dinwiddie is a good choice, but he may be deemed too risky since he’s recovering from a season-ending ACL tear.
All the other mentioned teams can be an interesting fit, but things are also tricky for them if it’s a trade. While Drummond has an expiring contract, which is usually a sought-after deal, his case is heavier than usual. He’s set to make $28.75 million this season and it makes trade partners a little less interested than they normally would – it’s also a roadblock on the Nets’ part.
To add more intrigue, FourtyEightMinutes also wrote that one team may surprisingly swoop in if a buyout occurs: the Miami Heat (they need all the help they can get). Watch out for that as well since other NBA insiders have argued that a buyout is actually a likelier possibility.
Whether Drummond gets bought out or traded, things should remain exciting. Keep in mind that we still have over four weeks since the March 26 (Manila time) trade deadline.