NBA rumors: Cavs, Andre Drummond 'far apart' in extension talks

More on Andre Drummond Free Agency

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.
First is the team’s salary cap situation. When asked about that Friday morning, Altman couldn’t provide any clarity. Drummond’s $28.7 million player option determines how much space the Cavs will have this offseason. Altman admitted he “doesn’t know” what Drummond will decide. Even though Drummond isn’t with the team this week and won’t be joining them at all for this bubble, he’s stayed engaged. Drummond and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff have been in contact. Drummond has been part of team Zoom calls.
Another way Altman and Co. can help Bickerstaff is through free agency. Much of their plan is hinges on Andre Drummond and whether he’ll opt out. According to the team source, all signs suggest that Drummond “probably will” exercise his $28,751,774 player option. Drummond said as much during an appearance on ESPN’s Le Batard & Friends Network podcast. “Yeah, that’s going to be pretty hard to give up, so you can count on me being in Cleveland still,” Drummond said in June. Later in the interview, he added: “I definitely will be in Cleveland.”
Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, who are free agents, Andre Drummond, who has a player option, and Cedi Osman, who’s still overseas, will not be in attendance. Four G-Leaguers from the Canton Charge – along with their coach Nate Reinking – will play in the Bubble: Matt Mooney, Marques Bolden, Levi Randolph and two-way player, Dean Wade. Everyone but Randolph spent time with the parent club last year.
With Drummond making his commitment public, the Cavs can proceed with other offseason plans. Sources say Drummond’s decision doesn’t guarantee Tristan Thompson’s departure. Thompson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, will weigh all of his options. But the fallout from COVID-19 -- and the anticipated drop in in the salary cap -- has caused plenty of uncertainty, especially for free agents.
Two-time All-Star Andre Drummond says he plans to pick up his player option that will keep him in Cleveland for another year. Drummond, who was traded to the Cavaliers by the Detroit Pistons in February, has a $28.75 million option for the 2020-21 season. He said on Tuesday's episode of ESPN's Le Batard & Friends -- STUpodity podcast that he "definitely" will be in Cleveland next season. "Yeah, it's going to be hard to give up, so you can count on me being in Cleveland still," Drummond said when pressed on whether he plans to exercise his option. "I definitely will be in Cleveland."
Shams Charania: New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency: Anthony Davis: Oct. 14 Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17 DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17 Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17 Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
The Cavs went 4-4 in the eight games with Drummond, who has been coy about his decision. But all signs point the same way. It’s a strange time in the NBA. The salary cap was headed south already because of the fractured relationship with China. The pandemic only exacerbates the impending revenue loss. Drummond doesn’t have much of a choice remaining.
Few teams have cap space available. The ones that do certainly aren’t lining up to pay Drummond $28 million. The Detroit Pistons dumped him to avoid that. Opting in for one year and continuing the experiment in Cleveland gives Drummond a chance to revive his value -- if that’s even possible in this era -- before entering free agency next summer.
While Drummond is likely to exercise his $28.7 million player option, the pandemic has led to a loss of revenue, which will likely impact future salary caps. When Drummond makes the choice to stay, the Cavs’ path to external improvement will be blocked. They could also consider a Drummond contract extension, although that seems unlikely given how short his stint has been. There are other decisions ahead -- on free agents Ante Zizic, Dellavedova and Thompson as well as the always-lingering possibility of trading Love. The Cavs will have months to figure out their plans while 22 other teams are in Disney.
The thing is, the reality of Cleveland’s situation may prevent that from happening. Right now, Love, Drummond and Larry Nance Jr., all staples for the Cavaliers’ big man rotation account for roughly 52% of the team’s payroll at $68.7 million. Next season, Nance will be here under contract and the team will likely have both Love and Drummond here as well, per league sources. Drummond plans on opting into his $28.7 million player option and Love will be hard to move with the NBA salary cap expected to go down due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, all three aforementioned players will combine for $78.1 million total next year.
The thing is, the reality of Cleveland’s situation may prevent that from happening. Right now, Love, Drummond and Larry Nance Jr., all staples for the Cavaliers’ big man rotation account for roughly 52% of the team’s payroll at $68.7 million. Next season, Nance will be here under contract and the team will likely have both Love and Drummond here as well, per league sources. Drummond plans on opting into his $28.7 million player option and Love will be hard to move with the NBA salary cap expected to go down due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, all three aforementioned players will combine for $78.1 million total next year.
I know there’s obviously a lot more important things going on but have you thought about your own future, and where you’re leaning with the player option in your contract? Andre Drummond: For me I haven’t really thought too deep into my next decision yet because obviously we can’t really do anything yet.
According to multiple sources, Drummond picking up his option remains most likely. It’s also most logical. Just look at what the Pistons received at the deadline. It was a salary dump, Detroit wanting to clean up the books and avoid paying him north of $28 million for 20-21. That’s a perfect portrait of his declining value. In this pace-and-space era, with shooting and perimeter skill so vital, some centers are still worth that bulky price tag. Drummond isn’t one of them.
According to sources, the Cavs weren’t given any assurances about Drummond’s future beforehand. Drummond has stayed silent on the impending decision, wanting to get through the season before thinking about the next step. But his player option, worth $28.7 million, has a direct impact on what the Cavs can -- and can’t do -- with their roster this summer.
Andre Drummond ($28.6 million) is soon facing a very harsh and frustrating reality. In the past few offseasons, centers have been getting smaller and smaller guaranteed deals. In 2018, a considerably low cap-space offseason, we saw non-stretch centers Clint Capela and Jusuf Nurkic earn $16 million and $12 million annually, respectively. Charlotte and New York are the only two teams with significant cap space who make some sense for Drummond, but it’s hard to see either team shelling most of their cap space just to him. If Drummond were to opt-out and test the market, he might end up getting offered similar figures as Capela and Nurkic did. That is a steep paycut overnight, and because he was traded in February he is not extension eligible for the rest of the season. If he were to opt-out, it probably won’t be without assurances of a lucrative deal via a cap space team or a sign-and-trade. Otherwise, expect him to opt-in.
Did you see that Drummond said he never wanted out if Beilein stayed? Jason Lloyd: I did. And I can appreciate and respect Andre defending himself. However, we stand by every word of our reporting and retract nothing. I’m not getting into a social media fight with a player. That serves no one well. I’d be happy to talk to him privately about our reporting when the opportunity presents itself.

http://twitter.com/KeithBritton86/status/1230097582958968834
Andre Drummond, who just got here two weeks ago, told teammates the situation in Cleveland was worse than Detroit, according to one source with knowledge of the conversation, and that it would factor into his $29 million option decision for next season.
There's some belief around the league that the Cavaliers could look to flip Drummond as early as this summer. "I don't think [Drummond and the Cavs] will last long," one former NBA general manager said. "I could see them trading him to a team this summer if he agrees to pick up his option. They could also do a sign-and-trade if he agrees to a new long-term deal. I don't think he'll be in Cleveland for long."
Altman admitted he and Drummond hadn't talked about what he would do with his option before the trade, but he was fine sacrificing the Cavaliers' upcoming salary-cap space for him. "Absolutely, we consider him a potential long-term play," Altman said. "Obviously, he has a player option that if he picks up, we think we're in good shape in terms of our cap space. There's no better money spent than on Andre Drummond if he picks up his option."
The Pistons continue to be ready to move off of Andre Drummond, as Detroit begins (another) rebuild. Interest in Drummond, as you might imagine, has been downright cool. His $27 million salary is a problem, as is a growing feeling that Drummond could opt into a nearly $29 million salary next season. As strong a rebounder as Drummond is—and Detroit’s guards make him look infinitely worse on the perimeter than he can be—there are concerns among some executives about his passion for the game. That’s unnerving. Reggie Jackson can be had if a team is willing to surrender an asset for an injury plagued player in the final year of his contract.
Still, Drummond wants to stay in Detroit and help the Pistons get back to the championship level they've reached three times before. He told ESPN earlier this season that his goal was to be in Detroit "the rest of my career." He reiterated that stance the day after news of trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks broke.
Drummond is expected to decline his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season in order to test free-agency this summer, sources said. Detroit is still actively fielding calls on Drummond, sources said. [...] If the Hawks don’t address their center need by the Feb. 6 trade deadline, Drummond is expected to be one of their top targets in free agency, sources said.
Detroit is preparing for Drummond, 26, to decline his $29 million option on the 2020-21 season and become a free agent, league sources said. Pistons owner Tom Gores has long been a strong advocate of Drummond's, but there's an increased movement in the organization to use Drummond as a trade asset to begin creating some salary-cap flexibility for the future, league sources said.
Rod Beard: A league source says nothing is imminent in a #Pistons Andre Drummond trade. It looks to be that they're just doing due diligence in checking around the league. This also means they are likely believe that he will opt out this summer.
There is a scenario in which Detroit could trade its franchise center this season. Again, it’ll depend on where the Pistons are in the playoff race by the time the deadline inches closer. There also is a scenario in which the Pistons could let him walk in free agency. And, of course, depending on if the Pistons can turn it around, he could return next year on a new contract. One source said Drummond likely will sign a new contract that averages somewhere between $20 million and $25 million annually, not the max.
The Hornets are remaking the roster and they’ve gotten themselves pretty well stocked with young guards and wings in the process, plus Washington. But there’s still a glaring hole in the middle and as the Hornets are primed to finally be rid of some of the albatross contracts that have weighed the franchise since its last playoff appearance (in 2016). At long last, they are in position to fill that void. The target, according to league sources: Pistons big man Andre Drummond, a player in whom the Hornets have had an interest for at least a year.
It could be time for the Hornets to do something the franchise does not typically do: get aggressive. “He’ll be a priority there,” one league executive told Heavy.com. “It’s just a matter of whether they make him a priority now and give up something to get him or try to make the move later. It’s a very cautious group, Mitch Kupchak and those guys. But they might want to get this guy into the fold sooner rather than later, there’s just a lot of incentive there on both sides.”
The two biggest targets would be Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. With contention nowhere in sight, do the Pistons really want to be on the hook for Drummond's next big contract? The center has a player option worth $28.8 million for next season, but with a dearth of top-tier free agents on the market this summer, he's likely to turn that down.
Whether he’s playing for another team or returning to the Pistons, Drummond is changing his perception around the league and solidifying himself as a good two-way center. The rub for the Pistons’ front office will be if that transformation leads to a run in the playoffs. That will determine whether Drummond gets another big contract or if he will end up somewhere else as a free agent. “At the end of the day, I can’t control what the front office wants to do in terms of the contract stuff. The only thing I can control right now is playing the game the right way and putting my team in a good position to win. Whatever happens after that happens,” Drummond told The News. “Obviously, I would enjoy playing for the rest of my career in Detroit. Whatever happens at the end of the year happens and we’ll figure it out when that time comes.”
There may be little drama with Drummond, too. His opt-out year is worth $28 million, but he will likely sign a max contract once he makes the opt-out official. Around league front offices, the consensus is that Drummond will peek at the market but stick around in Detroit. “He just won’t have a lot of options,” one front-office executive told Heavy.com. “Detroit won’t have a lot of options, either. “
But if the Pistons don't offer the max, it could set the stage for Drummond to become a free agent next offseason. He has indicated he plans to decline a $28.75 million player option for the 2020-21 season, and if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on an extension, he becomes one of the top free agents available next summer.
The $90 million Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center includes a sports medicine, treatment and rehab facility managed by the Henry Ford Health System, as well as retail and public spaces. Gores was asked afterward about a possible contract extension for Drummond, the team’s standout center. He spoke highly of Drummond but did not elaborate on any possible negotiations.
“You know how committed I am to Andre,” Gores said. “We both know the process. I said it many times, he’s very underrated in a lot of ways, for that he does. Culturally, he’s been so good for this team, just in terms of his attitude. I met him when he was 18, just watching him grow up, I’m real proud of him. “We’re committed to each other, but we just got to run the process. Everybody is talking at a business level. We have a lot of respect for each other. It’s early.”
Dwane Casey on Andre Drummond’s (likely) upcoming free agency: “Andre understands and knows who he is, what he means to us, how important he is to our program, where he is in his career, where he stands in the league. I try to stay out of the contract part of it. I’m there for him. My thing is, I want every one of our players to be rewarded, but the only way you’re rewarded in this league is by winning. I look back to Toronto and see Kyle Lowry with $100 million or whatever it was. That’s the same conversation I had with (Lowry). I hope that (Drummond) gets every penny that is coming to him, but the only way we accomplish that together is through winning. … That’s the basics of contract talks. I don’t get into that other stuff.”
Because Drummond seemed to confirm he was likely to opt out of his deal and that he was excited when asked if he was looking forward to being a free agent. Drummond attempted to quiet both his critics and his worried fans by going to Instagram: “For those who are confused about my comment about free agency let me break this down … My point was I’m excited to go thru the process because I never been thru it, doesn’t mean I’m trying to leave detroit . I love it here”
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has re-signed center Andre Drummond to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Re-signing Andre was a top priority for us this offseason,” said President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “The offensive and defensive numbers speak for themselves, but more importantly, his commitment to the organization has allowed us to put together a young group of players that will grow together and continue to move the franchise forward.”
Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond is in line to sign a max contract extension this summer. Pistons owner Tom Gores made it clear after Sunday night's season-ending Game 4 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that has no qualms about giving Drummond big money. "No hesitation," Gores said in the Pistons locker room after the game. "Come on, look at all the big guys in the league. Come on."
Q: I've heard people in Detroit are calling you the "franchise player w/o the franchise contract." Is there any part of you that feels that that's accurate or is it way too soon for that to even be part of the conversation? Andre Drummond: Um, you know man, when that time come. You know, we made a decision all together that it wasn't the best time to sign right now. ... I'm just here to play basketball and when that time comes we'll negotiate.
Van Gundy said the move not to re-sign Drummond was in order to keep salary-cap space available to sign other free agents before they re-sign Drummond. "Andre really, really wants to win," Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. "We laid out the difference of where we'd be salary-cap wise. It's almost $13 million. He wants us and [Pistons owner] Tom [Gores] to have all the resources to build this thing. He wants to be part of a winner."
Drummond said he intends to re-sign with the Pistons. "I love it here. I plan on being here," Drummond told Yahoo.
Jackson, you could say, has an investment in Drummond too, after signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Pistons over the summer. "He's a big reason, reason 1A-1B, I went solely into staying here," Jackson said. "He was always on me about making sure I signed. So I'm just trying to make sure everything's going in the right direction to still be here and try and make a lot of memories." Drummond will become a restricted free agent once his current contract expires after the 2015-16 season. Both sides have said they want the other, with head coach Stan Van Gundy reiterating that to reporters again on Tuesday, and the Pistons hold a leg up having the option of matching any future offers.
Jackson said the two spoke privately about the decision, made by Drummond in lockstep with his agent, Jeff Schwartz, and Pistons owner Tom Gores, and called it a big one for his future. "It's a mature move either way," Jackson said. "Whatever he decides is what he decides. I just would love to know that I have this guy with me during my tenure being here, wearing this red and blue. I just want what's best for Andre. I want what's best for his career. I definitely want him to be here and I want to make a lot of memories and a lot of highlights in the Palace and bring back this city."
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