“This is a team that probably was headed toward the l…

“This is a team that probably was headed toward the lottery anyway and now you look at the lineup they’re going to be putting out on that floor … This is a team that is going to be in the lottery, and probably deep in the lottery. Remember, they have a protected first-round pick going to Brooklyn in the sign-and-trade that brought them D’Angelo Russell, but that means they’ll keep that pick this year and they’ll have a chance to get back up really high in this draft and maybe get an impact player and then try to come back next year with Curry, Klay Thompson, certainly Draymond Green and that core. They’ll have the mid-level exception they can use in free agency.
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The real question is what happens after. At one point, there was mutual interest in an extension. However, the sides have been far apart in those preliminary discussions, sources say. The Cavs recognize Drummond’s talent but they are also honest about his flaws, especially in this pace-and-space era, where bigs like him are easy to attain. They don’t want to commit to an unfriendly deal that could limit future moves, not after an eight-game sample size. Drummond, meanwhile, wants to be compensated for bypassing a chance at 2021 free agency, when many teams will have significant cap space. Given the differing, current monetary views, an extension seems unlikely.
Then it comes down to whether riding out the season — or some portion of it — makes more sense than finding a trade partner. Multiple league sources believe the Cavs’ best chance for a trade would be at the deadline, sending him to a contender looking for an additional piece with no financial commitment beyond the 2020-21 season. That gives rival executives a chance to evaluate where they stand financially and competitively.
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