Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond is picking up his contract option, something that was expected all along.
But there’s a difference between expectations and reality, and now the Cavaliers have to figure out what to do about their big man and the big money he has coming his way.
Drummond is due to make $28.7 million in 2020-21. That’s a lot of money for anyone, even in the NBA, but especially it’s especially high considering he appeared in just eight games following a February trade to Cleveland.
So what do the Cavs do now? The Cavs don’t know. I wrote more about that at AmicoHoopsNews.com.
They may say they do. They may say all the right things, that Drummond’s return is invaluable for the franchise moving forward.
But is it?
Drummond did average 17.7 points and an NBA-best 15.2 rebounds in 57 total games with the Detroit Pistons and Cavs. He throws his 6-foot-10, 270-pound frame in the lane, clogging the lane and altering shots.
He is not to be messed with underneath the basket.
But he is also a throwback to the NBA days when those things were actually valued. Or at least valued more than they are in today’s perimeter-is-everything game.
Drummond’s decision also ties the financial hands of Cavs GM Koby Altman. Tristan Thompson will be available and courted once the free agency period begins Friday. What will the Cavs even be able to offer Thompson, who has been in Cleveland since they drafted as the fourth overall pick in 2011?
And what about Kevin Love? Trade rumors about the former All-Star have been swirling, as they always do whenever it’s time to make a deal. Can the Cavs move Love, lose Thompson, and risk losing Drummond at the end of the season?
Yes, yes and double yes.
Everyone knew Drummond would pick up the option. The Cavs were hoping he would actually. The last thing they wanted was to lose him for nothing.
But guess what? The Cavs are still in a pickle. All Drummond’s decision to stay did was make sure of it.