In Cavs trade rumors, fans are waiting to see what happens with Andre Drummond.
The Cavs have played better than even the staunchest defender of the Wine & Gold could’ve predicted.
Hovering around the .500 mark has fans hoping the young squad can continue improving and make a playoff push for one of the Eastern Conference’s lower seeds.
While it’d be nice to return to the playoffs, the Cavs and their front office have some business to figure out, particularly concerning Andre Drummond.
The Cavs want to deal their big man who was acquired last season from the Pistons. The organization has their center of the future in Jarrett Allen, but as long as Drummond is on the roster, the former Net will be relegated to a back-up role even if it’s clear he’s a starting caliber player.
When it comes to dealing Drummond, who is playing, statistically, some great basketball, averaging 18.5 points and 15.1 rebounds per night (Drummond leads the NBA in rebounding), reaching a deal isn’t as easy as it would seem.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently made an appearance on WKNR 850-AM (subscription required), where he addressed the complexities of trading Drummond.
1. The money: Windhorst noted how the Cavs can’t just trade Drummond’s $27 million salary figure to anyone. In the NBA, the money has to come close to matching, which means the Cavs would have to take on another big contract.
So if the Cavs are going to bring back $18-20 million in salary, they’re probably not going to be getting a player who will be around long enough to help the organization take the next step in their rebuild.
2. Getting good players: That led Windhorst to his next point. He believes the Cavs are willing to add money to the payroll, but only if it’s for the right type of player.
Windhorst singled out newly acquired small forward Taurean Prince. The veteran isn’t headed for the All-Star game. That said, he’s still a good NBA player. Getting “usable” players, as Windhorst described it, helps the Cavs overcome their shortcomings of being unable to sign any kind of valuable free agent who wasn’t born in Akron.
Besides Drummond, the Cavs also have a commodity other teams wouldn’t mind acquiring in Javale McGee. The veteran makes a whole lot less money ($4.2 million) than Drummond, which makes him more valuable to a team without a lot of cap room, such as the Nets.
Brooklyn isn’t the only team that has talked the Cavs about a big man, either. Charlotte, Toronto and Washington all talked to Cleveland about big men at some point this season, according to Windhorst.
Brooklyn was kind of a hilarious to hear about, because the rumor crept up after the three-way Harden trade, which landed Allen in Cleveland. The Nets have nothing left to deal, which makes the idea of trading McGee to the Nets ridiculous.
Windhorst basically confirmed this, stating that the Cavs consider McGee to be a player who has value. Cleveland’s front office doesn’t want to just give him because they believe they can get someone or something for him.
Lastly, with the urgency to play Allen next to Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro, there’s been some things written lately about the possibility of the Cavs buying out Drummond.
Windsor doesn’t see it, unless the Cavs can’t trade him by the March 25 trade deadline.