The Cavs dodged a bullet with Andre Drummond.
The Cavs took a lot of heat for releasing Andre Drummond after no team wanted to trade for him. At the time, many thought that the Cavs had sunk their negotiating power by sitting him. A move that was entirely his idea, by the way. The fact was that whether he played or not, no one was going to trade for him and his contract. Why? Well, teams knew he was an “empty-stat” guy. He was a turnover machine offensively and a liability defensively
The Suns all put proved every argument against Drummond during their first-round matchup with the Lakers; the team Drummond signed with after the Cavs released him.
Drummond averaged nine points and 11 rebounds per game in the Lakers’ six-game series loss to the Lakers. Drummond played horribly in his first-ever playoff series for the Lakers and was a huge reason why the Suns were able to take such commanding leads. When Deandre Ayton was on the court for the Suns, Drummond was largely ineffective. For someone that was supposed to be so good at rebounding and playing defense, Drummond made no impact on the series whatsoever.
Game Six sealed the status of Andre Drummond.
One needs only ask the Laker fandom about how they feel about Andre Drummond. Despite being a two-time All-Star and leading the NBA in rebounding before, Drummond proved his stats were more sizzle than steak. With Anthony Davis out for a pivotal fifth game, Drummond put up just seven points and had four turnovers while the Lakers lost that game.
Drummond’s defense was so bad and was so dominated by Deandre Ayton all series, that Drummond barely played more than 20 minutes per game. For someone that some Cavs fans were so adamant about keeping and proclaiming that his stats weren’t inflated, Drummond sure added nothing of substance to the Lakers in their series defeat.
Drummond will get nowhere close to his previous deal in free agency, and many are joking about him heading over to China to play basketball sooner rather than later.
Drummond proved that he isn’t the star some thought he was, nor did he prove he could actually hang with talented big-men when it was needed the most. Ayton was seen as many as a weak No. 1 overall pick, considering that Luka Doncic and Trae Young went after him. After the way Ayton affected the Lakers all series, the narrative may change around Ayton. He may not be anywhere near Doncic or Young’s level, but Drummond made him look like Charles Barkley was back in a Suns’ uniform, dominating the low-post.
Considering how maligned and dissected Ayton has been in the media, that should tell you just how bad Drummond was in this series.
At least this isn’t another one of Koby Altman’s failed moves. Getting rid of Drummond was the right call.
(Editors Note: We corrected an error that said Andre Drummond made his playoff debut.)