The Cavs and Andre Drummond’s time together has officially come to an end. The team reached a buyout with the two-time All-Star on Friday, allowing him to sign elsewhere. Drummond, who was in the last year of his contract, was being shopped around by the Cavs after being deactivated after a few months of action.
The Cavs got some guff from people about sitting Drummond, but at the end of the day sitting him didn’t affect anything. Everyone knew who Drummond was before he joined the Cavs. While he was a rebounding machine, he was often time beatable on the low block, wasn’t an overly big center, was offensively inept at times, and was a turnover machine.
Drummond did not live up to his contract that the Pistons gave him. Everyone knew it. The Cavs didn’t even give up anything of relevance to get Drummond. All the Cas gave up were Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a second-round pick.
That’s it, a steal of a trade.
Or was it?
If that’s all it took to land Drummond, why didn’t other teams in the NBA make a run at him? A second and some expiring contracts? That’s a pretty easy deal to pull off. Yet, watching Drummond play for the Cavs during the early parts of the 2020-2021 season and you saw some big issues. Firstly, he’s not capable enough offensively to warrant the touches he demands. Secondly, he tries to take control of the offense, and will even sit at the top of the key with the ball, as if he was Nikola Jokic. Thirdly, he struggles against shooting centers, preferring to put himself in position for rebounds, and not contesting shots.
People have been pointing out how foolish it is to trade for Drummond even before the Cavs acquired him, with the Ringer’s Chris Vernon and Kevin O’Connor mocking the Atlanta Hawks for seriously consider trading for him when Drummond was still in Detroit, going as far to say that you could get a guy off the “scrap heap” that would give you the same value as Drummond.
Drummond’s been accused of being lazy on defense, by Piston writers.
Before the Cavs acquired him, there were GMs and execs talking about how Drummond just had too many bad habits on the court to be a player of impact.
He’s been ripped by an NBA advanced scout for being able to have 30 points and 20 rebounds and making no impact on the game. The Cavs saw a lot of those performances from Drummond, and the criticism is well earned. He’s a stat chaser, who harms the teams he’s on by trying to play like Shaquille O’Neal.
Except Drummond doesn’t have O’Neal’s offensive consistency inside, his size, or his tenacity on defense.
The Cavs were never going to get anything back for Drummond, mostly because Drummond is one of the most inflated players statistically the NBA has. That’s why got bought out because the NBA knew who Drummond is, and knew wasn’t worth much if anything. There’s this belief that teams would just prefer to sign a like Drummond in free agency, but that’s not true. Teams would rather trade for a player and eliminate the possibility that another team could sign him. The problem with what happened with Cleveland and Drummond is that no team valued Drummond enough to even give up a second-round pick.
Think about that, no team valued Drummond enough to acquire him before he got bought out. No team thought he was so important that they just had to have him. If you want to know the value of Drummond, keep that in mind.
It wasn’t because he was benched. That doesn’t matter. No team cared about that. No team valued him. This isn’t a first or second-year player. Drummond has played nine years in the NBA, with well over 600 games to his name. The NBA is well aware of what he can and can’t do.
What he can’t do is generate enough of an impact on a game to warrant a team giving up a draft pick that will more than likely never materialize into anything worth talking about. That’s Drummond.
The guy no one really wanted and the guy the Cavs settled for.