There have been rumors about an Andre Drummond trade out of Cleveland almost since the day he was traded there. The fact the sides are far apart on a contract extension adds to the idea Cleveland may want to move on from the big man.
If that happens, bet on it being at the trade deadline, not before the season, reports Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
Multiple sources believe the Cavs’ best chance to flip Drummond (provided he opts into his $28.7 million contract) would be around the trade deadline. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told cleveland.com recently he is preparing as if Drummond will be part of the team in 2020-21. But in the scenario above, the Cavs would need to add a center for depth/insurance.
That center could be re-signing Tristan Thompson, but Fedor says the sides are far apart on a contract number for the veteran. Drummond will opt into that contract.
Drummond absolutely brings value to the court. He averaged 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds a game for the Cavaliers after being traded there last season (in just eight games). He is as good a rebounder as there is in the league. The challenge is that he plays an old-school game — 92.3% of his shots last season came within 10 feet of the rim — that does not fit with how the game is evolving. He’s not comfortable defending in space, either.
It is more likely that by the time of the trade deadline there will be a playoff team looking for help in the paint willing to take on Drummond as a rental. That is more likely than a trade before the season because the contending teams don’t want to take on that much salary, and the teams with cap space — Atlanta, Detroit, Charlotte, among others — are not looking for an old-school center like Drummond.
Just something to watch as we move through the season.