Andre Drummond has a $28.7 million player option for next season. While there have been reports he is undecided on whether or not he will pick that up and stay in Cleveland, the conventional wisdom around the league is he will pick it up because that kind of money is not out there for him on the open market.
Cavaliers’ coach J.B. Bickerstaff says the team is “planning for the future with him,” he told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“I have not asked him, ‘Hey man, are you opting in or opting out?’ But the conversations we’ve had have been positive,” Bickerstaff said. “Indirectly those conversations have been about the future, what next year is going to look like, how he wants to be part of the team and how we can use him effectively and all those things. He’s going to make his choice known whenever he’s going to make his choice known. I know he’s made public comments. We’ve had no conversations about him not being here and we’ve been planning for the future with him.”
Drummond averaged 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds a game for the Cavaliers after being traded there last season, but he only played in eight games after being traded from Detroit due to the coronavirus halting play (for the season, he averaged 17.7 points and 15.2 rebounds a game).
While Drummond puts up numbers, his old-school game does not fit with how the NBA is evolving — 92.3% of his shots last season came within 10 feet of the rim, he does not space the floor, and he is not comfortable defending on the perimeter. While he can score around the rim and is an elite rebounder, his game can be exploited by teams with centers who are a threat outside the paint. Drummond is reportedly working on other parts of his game.
Drummond brings value, just not $28.7 million worth in today’s market, which is why he’s expected to pick up his player option. Bickerstaff and the Cavaliers clearly anticipate he will. Then it’s up to Bickerstaff and company to figure out how best to use him.