Andre Drummond is currently in the final season of a five-year, $127 million deal. The fact that he is set to become an unrestricted free agent coupled with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ abundance of big men makes a trade of some sort seem inevitable.
So far this year Drummond is averaging a career high 18.5 points per game on 48.1 percent shooting from the field, along with 14.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per outing.
By any objective measure, this is the best time to move him.
Currently, there are two realistic trade suitors for Drummond’s services.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Toronto Raptors are intrigued by the prospect of adding Drummond.
“Drummond is the biggest name,” he wrote.
“Drummond will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and had an extremely limited trade market one year ago when the Pistons dealt him to Cleveland. The Raptors are among the teams interested in Drummond now, league sources say.”
This past offseason Toronto added Aron Baynes and Alex Len after losing Marc Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers and then losing Serge Ibaka over their handling of Gasol.
Len washed out immediately, ultimately getting waived a few weeks back.
Baynes stuck around, but he is averaging a mere 5.3 points per game while shooting 40 percent from the field. Not exactly All-Star level production down low.
It’s easy to see what the Raptors find appealing about Drummond. He would be an immediate upgrade on offense without even trying, and then he also do a lot to fix the team on defense.
Toronto presently ranks 17th in defensive rating and is 29th in defensive rebounding.
If not the Raptors (since they’re more focused on trading Kyle Lowry and kicking the tires on Lonzo Ball at the moment), the Brooklyn Nets have also been linked to Drummond over the past few weeks. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski discussed how feasible of an option they were during a recent TV spot.
“There’s a natural fit out there with Andre Drummond in Cleveland,” he said.
“Now, he’s the final year of his deal at $28 million and Cleveland’s future is clearly with Jarrett Allen who came from the Nets in that four-team trade. It’s difficult for Brooklyn to put the pieces together to make a trade given Drummond’s salary.
Yikes. Not great. https://t.co/TbKcmHXfyt
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 9, 2021
“I’m told that he’s not necessarily interested in a contract buyout before the trade deadline which is March 25, but he could be in play potentially with a buyout after that date is the Cavs don’t find a trade for him in the interim. But one interesting trade piece for the Nets is Spencer Dinwiddie who was lost for the season with that ACL injury.”
Drummond would quickly fix what head coach Steve Nash has deemed as the Nets’ one major weakness.
One way or another, it is becoming increasingly clear that Drummond’s time in Cleveland will soon come to an end. Where will he ultimately end up? An answer should emerge at some point in the next few weeks.