However, in a turn of events, Adrian Wojnarowski reported around the same time that Cleveland is only “starting to gauge the market on Andre Drummond, but there are no serious, ongoing trade discussions.” Nekias Duncan of basketballnews.com laid out the hilarious contradiction between the two highly credible reporters.
However, Wojnarowski followed up with another report that Drummond will remain with the team but would “no longer be active for games” as the Cavaliers explore trade possibilities. Based on this decision, there is a very high chance that the Cavs move Drummond before the trade deadline.
Drummond to the Raptors Fits Need
“Whichever direction this goes, Andre is 27, in his prime, and I believe strongly that he has a great deal to add to a team building toward a postseason run.”
The Raptors have not played great to start the season, but they have a strong postseason track record. Drummond fits their center position need. Aron Baynes hasn’t rebounded the ball well from the center spot nor defended. Chris Boucher can take some center minutes, but his thin frame prevents him from handling physically dominant bigs like Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, and Domantis Sabonis. Drummond, on the other hand, has the frame to handle bigs. He would also boost their rebounding.
Based on matchups, the Raptors could utilize a committee approach to the center spot. Boucher could work against teams that don’t look to post-up on offense. However, against a team like the Sixers, Pacers, and Heat, who all have strong centers, Drummond could help out in those situations. Boucher would operate as more of a specialist player.
The Celtics were also linked to Drummond in the offseason. They settled for Tristan Thompson using their Mid-Level Exception. Drummond could come in to handle the Eastern Conference teams with true bigs.
Additionally, the Celtics still have the trade exception from the Gordon Hayward move. Drummond’s huge contract could slide into the exception, and the Celtics wouldn’t need to give up too much for Drummond.
While Drummond fits their need, it’s unlikely the Celtics pull the trigger on this move. Do the Celtics want to give up their exception for most likely a rental player? This move would also automatically confirm signing Thompson was a mistake by the halfway point to the season.
Drummond’s contract makes a deal complicated. A team might have to give up too much to acquire an outdated skillset. His rebounding is the best part of his game. However, more teams are prioritizing getting back in transition. Drummond has tried to explore playmaking, but it’s not something a team can rely on at all.
The one plus is that he has shown flashes of guarding on the perimeter. He’s nimble for a big. That can keep him on the floor in playoff games.