When Cleveland acquired Jarrett Allen for a first-round pick as part of a four-team deal, multiple NBA executives believed Andre Drummond’s tenure with the Cavaliers would end by the trade deadline in March or after this season.
With the March 25th trade deadline less than two months away, HoopsHype spoke with eight NBA executives for their thoughts on Drummond’s trade value.
Four of the executives polled felt Cleveland could get one or two second-round picks in exchange for Drummond. Last season, Cleveland gave up a 2023 second-round pick as part of the compensation to acquire Drummond.
“He’s a premier rebounder,” one Eastern Conference executive told HoopsHype. “However, on the flip side, he’s an impending free agent making $28 million. Therefore, a contender needs to send out multiple players (likely dead weight) and an asset (a second-round pick or possibly two).”
Drummond, 27, leads the league in rebounds per game (14.6), defensive rebound percentage (39.5), total rebound percentage (27.2), and is tied for first in defensive win shares (1.4). He also ranks second in defensive rating (100.4), is tied for third in offensive rebound percentage (15.5), and is seventh in usage percentage (31.9).
Several top teams feature dominant big men such as Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Los Angeles’ Anthony Davis, and Utah’s Rudy Gobert. Based on Drummond’s production, two executives thought the Cavaliers could squeeze a rival contending team for a late protected first-round pick.
Might only be a second-round pick, which is sad for how productive he is
“They might be able to get a protected first-round pick because it’s an expiring contract, but matching the money on any deal for Drummond will be hard for a contending team,” another Eastern Conference executive told HoopsHype. “A rebuilding team would probably have room this summer that they can use to sign him. They wouldn’t want to give up a first or any pick to get him if they are rebuilding.”
“Might only be a second-round pick, which is sad for how productive he is,” one Western Conference executive told HoopsHype. “Maybe in the right deal where someone was getting off money and needed another center, they could get a first-round pick.”
The final two executives polled felt Drummond would get a buyout after the deadline. However, the Cavaliers are not interested in a buyout for Drummond, a league source told HoopsHype.
A buyout would force Drummond to relinquish his Bird Rights, as colleague Yossi Gozlan noted. Drummond’s Bird Rights could come in handy this offseason in a potential sign-and-trade if he remains with Cleveland past the March trade deadline. In the midst of arguably Drummond’s best season as a pro, his Bird Rights increase his chances of getting a better payday.
Drummond’s play has also had a significant role in Cleveland surpassing expectations thus far. The Cavaliers are currently tied for the sixth seed in the East and are only two games behind in the standings for the fourth seed in the conference.
“He’s playing great, but his contract limits the potential matches for a trade,” another Eastern Conference general manager told HoopsHype. “Cleveland might also hang onto him as they are playing well.”
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