Monday morning saw an explosion in Drummond trade rumors, as both Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski released reports on the big man’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers nearing its end, making Drummond the hottest name on the market right now.
First, Charania reported that Cleveland and Toronto have discussed a potential deal for the two-time All-Star center, which makes a ton of sense considering how poorly the team’s current starting center, Aron Baynes, has performed this year:
The Raptors and Cavaliers are engaged in active talks on potential Andre Drummond deal to Toronto/Tampa, per sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 15, 2021
Then, Wojnarowski reported that Drummond would no longer be a part of the Cavs’ rotation as the team works to find a new home for him:
Reporting with @WindhorstESPN: The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer planning to play center Andre Drummond as they work to trade the two-time All-Star prior to the NBA’s March 25th deadline, sources told ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
Wojnarowski also mentioned that though Cleveland has spoken to teams on the Drummond front, no deal is imminent and talks haven’t gotten serious with a single club just yet.
Complicating matters as far as a Drummond trade goes is the fact that although he’s on an expiring deal, that deal still pays him $28.8 million this season, making a potential trade extremely difficult to put together financially.
Will any team want to package together multiple valuable salaries just for a half-season rental of Drummond before seeing him hit unrestricted free agency this offseason?
Perhaps, but it’s not a given, either.
That’s why talks of a Drummond buyout have been so heavy over recent weeks. Speaking of which, a Drummond buyout, per Charania, would reportedly lead to interest from the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets, teams who lack the salaries and assets to trade for the big man but would like to sign him as a free agent.
At the end of the day, Drummond is a double-double machine who finishes just about everything in the paint, so there’s little doubt he could help frontcourt-needy contenders. His salary and impending free agency just complicate matters.
For more on the Andre Drummond trade front, click here.