Many ‘experts’ on the NBA seem to think the Cavs ‘lost’ with their trade for Andre Drummond, citing that he’s going to leave, but that’s not the case.
The Cavs landed one of the five best centers in the NBA yesterday for John Henson, Brandon Knight, a lesser-second round pick, a bag of peanuts, several pieces of unused and used gum, 114 pieces of sawdust from Nick Gilbert’s pet-hamsters cage and a used sock. The Cavs set themselves up for the future with this deal and expedited their rebuild.
Drummond is one of, if not the best defensive center in the league not-named Rudy Gobert. He’s a rebounding machine, a shot blocker on the most elite level and a steady 15 point a game type of scorer. He’s also expected to stick around long term according to Sam Amico. Sure he’s going to eat into the cap space, but what are the Cavs going to do in free agency? Sign Anthony Davis? Come on, this was the best move they could make and it’s not even a bad one. This is an obvious upgrade over Tristan Thompson.
He’s a viable Defensive Player of the Year candidate just about every year, he’s a good low post passer and he’ll help clear space for Kevin Love. The Cavs, if they opt to let Thompson walk and trade Dante Exum, could have enough money in free agency to still go after a top player, like Danillo Gallinari and if the Cavs do end up securing another Top-5 draft pick, with the assets they already have, could have a rebound year next year.
Every pundit, expert, and analysis that thinks the Cavs somehow “lost” or came out a “loser” of the deadline have no foresight or perspective to realize that this isn’t going to be few months of rental. Drummond won’t be offered 28.5 in 2020’s free agency period and if he does, who’s got the better team-upside? The only teams that can offer him $28.5 are Atlanta, and they just got Clint Capela. The Memphis Grizzlies, but they have Jonas Valanciunas, the Knicks and they’re a dumpster fire. There’s the Hornets, who want to make a play for him but come on, they’re the Hornets. The Cavs now have Drummond’s Bird Rights, which means the Cavs can simply offer Drummond a better deal.
All that said, the Cavs could be at or around $106 million for the payroll heading into the offseason. If they are able to move Exum, they’d be about $20 million under the cap. So the Cavs are still in play for a mid-major free agent. This team should have everything thinking ‘high hopes’ for the 2020 season. Get on board Cavs fans, this is going to be fun.