While there was a time even I wanted the Cavs to keep Andre Drummond, the last month of action has turned that tune sour.
One way or another it appears Andre Drummond will not be on the court again as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The news came early Monday afternoon that the Cavs would not play Drummond again until his future has been finalized. This explains why Drummond was “rested” on Sunday night against the Clippers, and why he only played 17 minutes previously the game before.
Drummond isn’t having a bad year, averaging 17.5 pounds and 13.5 rebounds. On paper, he looks dominant, the problem is paper is weak. It easily falls apart. Drummond is having a good, yet disappointing, defensive year. Many expected him to become a Defensive Player of the Year contender in J.B. Bickerstaff’s system but instead, he’s been outshone by Larry Nance Jr. and Jarrett Allen.
Offensively, however, Drummond has become erratic and unpredictable. He’s only shooting 47% from the floor, down significantly from his career average of 54%. He’s also turning over the ball nearly four times per-game, a recent trend in his game that started in 2019-2020 with Detroit.
Moving on from Drummond is a needed move, as it’ll open up more minutes for Jarrett Allen, and eventually Kevin Love, who’s only days away from returning. Not only that, but Drummond has stunted the offense so much with his play. While moving on from him won’t all of a sudden make the backcourt start shooting more threes, it will take away someone who demands the ball even when they’re not being productive.
The Cavs will likely not find a trade partner for Drummond, partly due to his massive contract, and the teams who want him don’t have the pieces to move for him. Though, there was a rumor that Toronto was interested. The other issue that the Cavs are facing is the Detroit Pistons are thinking of buying out or trading Blake Griffin as well.
With Griffin potentially entering the market at the same time Drummond could, there will be some in each organization who will want to wait to see if what the other goes for.
With both players expected to be moved, or bought-out, they could deadlock the market with indecision. The saving grace for the Cavs is that Drummond is on the last year of his contract, while Griffin has a $38 million player option next year.
There is one trade that some fans are worried would happen, a swap between Griffin and Drummond. That only works, however, if the Cavs add another $4-$6 million to the deal, so a contract as low as Javale McGee’s or as high as Darius Garland or Cedi Osman’s.
It seems more likely that the Cavs will end up buying out Drummond but we’ll have to wait and see.
As we were finishing the editing process, Spencer Davies on Twitter wrote the following;
"According to a league source, a buyout is currently off the table for Andre Drummond & #Cavs (even with his expiring $28.7 million deal), which means it’s time for Koby Altman to get creative."
It appears a buyout is not likely any longer.