The Cavs didn’t want to mistreat Drummond
Lost in all of the chaos was the simple fact that both the Cavs and Andre Drummond agreed that he was done in Cleveland. When Drummond was deactivated in February, it wasn’t just the Cavs’ decision; Drummond wanted it too. He was clearly ready to move on, his lack of focus at times in games may have given his hand away.
Still, the Cavs weren’t mad with Drummond, they were very happy that he was on the team, and had the Jarrett Allen trade not happened, Drummond might’ve been a guy who got an extension offer from the Cavs.
The Cavs wanted to make sure their relationship with Drummond was on-board and they showed him the respect they felt he earned. Chris Fedor wrote about such a thing, highlighting the fact that Koby Altman didn’t want to make the Cavs seem like an organization that would screw someone over just for a short-term gain.
"There was no discussion about keeping Drummond and trying for a summer sign and trade. General manager Koby Altman felt that would’ve been cruel to a player who did everything the Cavs asked and handled a difficult situation with class and professionalism. The NBA is a relationship business and burning bridges over a minimal future asset isn’t worth it."
It was the right call. While some sign-and-trades work out for everyone, that’s not always the case. Allowing Drummond his freedom to sign where he wants in the offseason will only look good on the franchise going forward, especially since they really had no desire to keep him long term.