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Andre Drummond on player option: ‘I will definitely be in Cleveland’

Cavaliers center Andre Drummond

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 8: Andre Drummond #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers smiles during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on March 8, 2020 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Before the season, Andre Drummond declared he’d be a free agent this offseason. The implication: He’d be so valuable, he’d be worth more on the open market than his $28,751,774 player option.

About that…

After a strong start, Drummond showed inconsistent energy and focus as the Pistons struggled. Detroit tried to trade Drummond but found a tepid market. Ultimately, the Pistons dealt the center to the Cavaliers for a paltry return just to avoid his player option.

Drummond on his player option, via “Le Batard & Friends – STUpodity":

That’s going to be pretty hard to give up.
That’s going to be hard to give up. So, you can count on me being in Cleveland still.
I will definitely be in Cleveland, 100%.

Drummond didn’t outright say he’d opt in. He could still opt out contingent on re-signing for a lower salary next season but more overall compensation.

Yet, as was evident to everyone sensible, that lucrative player option is Drummond’s ticket to maximizing his income.

That was probably true before the coronavirus pandemic. It’s even more true with revenue way down and the salary cap likely stagnating.

The Cavs will get another year with Drummond, who is an incredible rebounder and could complement guards Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. … at least if Drummond tightens up his defense.

If he opts in, the pressure will be higher on Drummond next season. Unlike this season, there’s no fallback. He’d be an unrestricted free agent in 2021, a limited – but often effective – center in a league overstocked with players like that.

Though he’s better than most players of his type, Drummond’s biggest separation comes with that $28,751,774 slated salary.