Several opposing executives contacted by OutKick over the past several days said they believe the Cleveland Cavaliers will trade center Andre Drummond, perhaps before the start of the season.
A few volunteered their thoughts on the possibility of a Drummond trade without even being asked.
This should come as no surprise, as Drummond has a large, expiring contract — which in today’s NBA, is often viewed on the same level as a superstar player. Drummond is no superstar, but he’s not too shabby, either. He averaged 17.7 points and a league-leading 15.2 rebounds in 57 total games with the Detroit Pistons and Cavs in 2019-20.
Word is that Drummond and the Cavs had some talks on an extension, but those went nowhere. Reports earlier this offseason indicated the Cavs had conversations with the Boston Celtics on a possible Drummond-for-Gordon Hayward swap. But those also went nowhere, and Hayward was eventually dealt to the Charlotte Hornets in a sign-and-trade arrangement.
After picking up a monster contract option, Drummond is due to make about $28.7 million this season. The Cavs acquired him in February, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic paused the season. Drummond has appeared in just eight games with the Cavs.
None of the opposing execs who spoke to OutKick seemed hopeful that the Cavs will indeed make Drummond available, and no one indicated he would be interested in acquiring Drummond if they did. Rather, all surmised that it would make good sense for the Cavs to seek a deal and get something in return for Drummond, as opposed to risking losing him for nothing in free agency after the season.
This is news because, at 6-foot-10 and 280 pounds, Drummond could make a real difference near the basket for a contender. Problem is, most of the contenders are already over or right up against the salary cap, and the Cavs may have to take a “bad” contract back. That’s not exactly something they want to do.
There’s also the possibility that a non-contending team would take on Drummond for the sole purpose of shedding salary at the end of the year. But again, that could prove costly for the Cavs, who most definitely would want a draft pick and/or young player in any deal involving large salaries. Rebuilding opponents prefer to hold onto those types of assets.
So yes, the league-wide consensus is that the Cavs and Drummond may not be together much longer. This season tips off Dec. 22, and the trade deadline is reportedly set for March 25. If Drummond is still in Cleveland after that second date, it clearly will be a surprise to some.