For next season, Andre Drummond wants to get paid. He has said he plans to pick up his $28.8 million option and stay with the Cavaliers, which was the only smart move on his part.
Beyond that, the two sides may try to work something out this offseason.
There is mutual interest in an extension, but it’s too preliminary to have serious talks, notes Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
At this point, sources say, both sides have shown interest in an extension. But there’s so much to figure out before late October, when Drummond could technically sign a new deal.
Two key questions come up when thinking about this kind of extension.
First, what are the Cavaliers’ long-term plans at center? Very little of their rebuild is set (Darius Garland may be able to take a couple steps forward and be part of that, Colin Sexton could as well, but both have a long way to go), so it is possible in this draft the Cavaliers pick up a more modern five (James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu are the top centers on the board). If not, Drummond could be a stop-gap for a few years while the Cavaliers figure out their direction and get the right players.
Second, and more importantly, at what price would Drummond sign an extension? Drummond puts up numbers — 17.7 points and 15.2 rebounds a game last season — and he remains the best rebounder in the game today (he had the highest total rebounding percentage in the league last year). He’s going to expect near max money. However, he’s a traditional center who does not space the floor on offense, nor can he step out well on defense, and the value of that kind of player is shrinking in the NBA now. How much would te Cavaliers pay, and at what price is he still a valuable trade chip with other teams?
None of that can be answered right now, heading into an offseason — and a couple of years — of turbulent finances around the league.
But the Cavaliers and Drummond are both interested in finding a deal. That’s a start.