Veteran center Andre Drummond is expected to pick up the option on his contract but that doesn’t mean the Cleveland Cavaliers have to keep him.
“If I’m the Cavs, I’d trade to get some value for him,” former NBA forward and current ESPN analyst Paul Pierce said on The Jump.
Of course, Pierce’s thinking and the Cavs’ thinking may be entirely different. It’s much too soon to say.
Trading Drummond after he opts in is undoubtedly one possibility. Keeping him and trying to sign him to an extension is another. It seems the Cavs are open to just about anything and will wait to see how things play out in 2020-21 before making a firm decision.
Hall-of-Fame NBA reporter Jackie MacMullan also weighed in on the matter.
“Drummond can be useful for the Cavs,” she said. “It’s gonna be a difficult contract to move.”
Both parts of that sentence are true. Cavs GM Koby Altman didn’t acquire Drummond from the Detroit Pistons in February just to trade him. Drummond, 27, was landed for next-to-nothing, so the Cavs can afford to experiment and see if it works out.
So far, Drummond has appeared in just eight games in a Cavs uniform. He proved to be a force in the middle, clogging the lane, defending the rim and creating space underneath (and scoring) on offense.
Drummond is a former All-Star and has the potential to be one again.
But there are plenty of things to consider here, and it’s not just talent. It remains to be seen how well Drummond will fit under coach J.B. Bickerstaff and what will become of the rest of the roster.
Center Tristan Thompson is an unrestricted free agent, and while this is just speculation, the Cavs may have a choice to make — Drummond, or Thompson.
“Multiple league sources believe the Cavs’ best chance for a trade would be at the deadline, sending (Drummond) to a contender looking for an additional piece with no financial commitment beyond the 2020-21 season,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com recently reported. “That gives rival executives a chance to evaluate where they stand financially and competitively.”
Apparently, Pierce thinks that type of move — trading Drummond — will be the Cavs’ best bet.