NBA Rumor: Andre Drummond Buyout?

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Knicks interested in Andre Drummond if bought out

While a trade does not seem likely by Thursday’s deadline, according to a source, the Knicks will still have interest if the Cavaliers waive him. Drummond hasn’t played since Feb. 12 as Cleveland sought a trade. The Knicks front office have been split on a Drummond addition. Brock Aller, the team’s chief strategist, was with Cleveland when the Cavaliers acquired Drummond in a trade with Detroit last season.

Andre Drummond Lakers bound if he gets bought out?

Andre Drummond is expected to be bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers if he is not traded by the deadline and the Los Angeles Lakers are considered the favorites to sign him once he clears waivers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. “The league believes, and I know that’s a vague statement, but I’m saying it that way to avoid trapping myself,” said Windhorst on his podcast. “The league believes, numerous teams I’ve talked to believe that Andre Drummond is heading for the Lakers if/when he gets bought out.

Cavaliers haven't found taker for Andre Drummond, his attitude a reason why

As for (what the Cavs hope is) their key trade piece, last season’s leading NBA rebounder, Andre Drummond, they still can’t find any takers. What most teams would have to throw in to satisfy the salary requirements of a swap (he makes nearly $29 million) is definitely a huge hurdle for the Cavs to clear, and there are some reputational issues to consider.

Before the Cavs decided to bench Drummond until they could trade him, they asked him multiple times to accept playing fewer minutes, with Jarrett Allen on the roster, and even asked him to come off the bench. He refused, and there are teams that otherwise would be interested in considering a trade for him that are aware of such issues. If/when he gets a buyout, as is oft-reported, there will be a number of suitors for him. So his attitude is not a deal-breaker; it’s just a second reason to pause when most teams would also have to consider giving up rotation players just to make a trade for Drummond work

One thing in Cleveland’s favor, according to a rival executive, is the belief that only a few teams will have a realistic shot in the buyout market. If the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Heat or Celtics — all teams linked to Drummond — truly have interest, how many would beat out Brooklyn or the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency? Any of those five teams could be incentivized to acquire him in a trade as the clock ticks, the one path to guaranteeing his services for the stretch run.

I think the most likely outcome here is that Brooklyn ends up getting Drummond on the buyout market. That was the popular consensus of the executives I talked to from a logical perspective (not necessarily from an inside info perspective). He fills a real need for the Nets as a center who can actually move his feet and provide size at the same time. He’d be an actual defensive upgrade with the minutes Jordan is currently providing, while also providing some real perimeter versatility in dribble handoffs due to his dexterity with the ball. If you can limit the role, and if he can focus for a few months, Drummond can be useful for the Nets.

While Toronto has expressed trade interest, several other teams, such as Brooklyn and Dallas, would have interest in Drummond via buyout, sources said. The Cavaliers have been in the postseason hunt in the Eastern Conference, so it is unclear how open the franchise would be toward a buyout after the trade deadline should the team be in the playoff hunt, but the franchise has certainly acknowledged Drummond’s likely desire to be on a contending team. A buyout is clearly not the preference.

Andre Drummond a Net eventually?

Drummond is the most intriguing player on this list outside of maybe Derrick Rose. A couple of league sources mentioned after the Harden trade to Brooklyn that it’s a matter of time before he finds his way into a buyout and joins up to give them help with the interior. Drummond is a difficult player to figure out because of how he wants to fit. He’s obviously better than the Kendrick Perkins option the Thunder once had, but Drummond does require you to waste possessions throughout a game throwing it to him in the post. If you can get Drummond to run the floor, catch lobs, set screens, rebound the hell out of the ball and play defense, he’s a great option for someone like the Nets.

Nets hoping for Andre Drummond buyout?

Meanwhile, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on a podcast with Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, that the Nets have their eyes on Drummond who’s playing on an expiring $28.7 million contract. ”People around the league say the Nets are hoping that Andre Drummond, the Cavs center, gets bought out. That’s what people say they’re hoping for but that’s unlikely because Cleveland is still in it,” referring to the playoff hunt.
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