Report: Cavaliers sitting Andre Drummond as they seek trade
The writing was on the wall as soon as the Cavaliers traded for Jarrett Allen:
Andre Drummond was no longer Cleveland’s center of the future.
The Cavs had been trying to compete this season, and Drummond was helping. But they’ve lost seven straight – including to the Clippers yesterday without Drummond – and fallen to 10-18 and 12th in the Eastern Conference. Priorities are shifting in Cleveland.
Which means a Drummond trade – or buyout? – now appears imminent.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman discussed the move with Drummond and his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, and decided together that Drummond would remain with the team, but would no longer be active for games, sources said. https://t.co/MTBjXh8fvP— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
Cleveland is starting to gauge the market on Andre Drummond, but there are no serious, ongoing trade discussions with any team now, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
Josh Lewenberg of TSN:
The Raptors haven’t had anything more than exploratory conversations re: Drummond, I’m told. There’s interest and he would obviously address a glaring need, but matching salary would be difficult and likely mean giving up more than they’re willing to part with.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 15, 2021
Drummond, who’s averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, is a helpful but limited player. He’s excellent on the glass, but his defense is merely so-so. Though he can score inside, the 27-year-old isn’t the above-the-rim finisher he once was. His offensive ambitions outpace his offensive ability.
A big impediment to a trade: Drummond’s $28,751,774 salary (on an expiring contract). It will be difficult for some teams to match that without including players more valuable than Drummond.
Including the Raptors.
Perhaps, Toronto could acquire Drummond if trading Kyle Lowry. But if going that direction, would the Raptors still want Drummond? Plus, it’d likely have to be a multi-team trade. The Cavs probably wouldn’t want the older Lowry.
Cleveland is rebuilding around guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, forward Isaac Okoro and Allen. In that process, culture is a priority.
The Cavaliers already excommunicated Kevin Porter Jr. before ultimately trading him to the Rockets. Now, the Cavs are benching Drummond with attitude reportedly a concern. That’ll only further depress Drummond’s trade value.
There’s still more than a month for Cleveland to find a trade. It’s definitely possible.
But with no deal imminent, it’s reasonable to wonder whether a buyout is the eventual outcome. Buyout rumors have already swirled, with Drummond linked to the Nets. He’d look far more appealing on a cheap contract rather than his $28,751,774 salary.
Still, it takes only one team to trade for him. On the other hand: One team that needs a center and can absorb that large contract. That’s not a long list.
The Cavaliers ought to have a realistic sense of the market considering how little it took to get Drummond from the Pistons in the first place.