The Cleveland Cavaliers will more than likely see Andre Drummon back with the team for the 2020-2021 season.
Let’s be clear, Andre Drummond is probably a top-ten NBA center, maybe even top-five. There’s no doubt about that. He’s got career averages 14 points and 14 rebounds a game. He’s also a solid defensive player, who usually earns the recognition of those skills in the post-season award voting. Yet, the end of the 2020 season has opened up a major flaw in keeping Drummond; his large salary.
The Cavs are in the middle of a weird time in the NBA. With the Los Angeles Clippers falling apart against the Denver Nuggets, the Houston Rockets failing to get to the conference finals again, and the Oklahoma City Thunder looking like a team about to restart after letting head coach Billy Donovan walk, there’s a lot of names that are rumored to be available.
There’s already talk of the Clippers looking for suitors for Paul George, the Rockets could ship out Russell Westbrook or, the Thunder moving Chris Paul. All three players would do well in Cleveland and would complement this team perfectly. Especially Westbrook, who has a history with Cavs forward Kevin Love.
Yet, Drummond’s deal really negates any moves at the moment. If he opts out, the Cavs could make a play for one of the three All-Stars (if they’re available), and in the Eastern conference, with this team’s scoring potential, those players could see their careers flourish. If Drummond opts in, he could be a trade chip in a deal with Houston, who will be looking to replace Clint Capela who the team foolishly traded away at midseason.
It may seem foolish to trade Drummond after a handful of games in a Cavs unfirom but ask yourself this; if you could get Paul, Westbrook, or George, would you give up Drummond to get them? Honestly, it’d hard to say that Drummond is better long-term than Paul, Westbrook, or George, even with their recent playoff struggles. At least those three are getting there. It’s not like Drummond could carry a team to the postseason.
Drummond doesn’t appear to be a long term option, especially if there’s a chance to jump into a trade scenario. Plus, he’s just not worth his current deal. He’s limited offensively and if he’s not in the post he can’t really do anything worth talking about. That’s not exactly big-money material there.
The Cavs should keep their ears open for any potential trade chatter with a franchise-changing star. Even if they are 30 and fading some.