Andre Drummond's time in Cleveland is apparently over. After a little more than a calendar year, the Cavaliers have decided to shut Drummond down while they try to find a trade partner for the center and his massive expiring contract. It'll be tough to find a trade partner who can match his $28.5 million salary, so a buyout is a realistic option, and Drummond would then have his pick of suitors. Who wants the four-time NBA rebounding champion? Here are five potential destinations.
The Raptors and Cavaliers are in active talks according to The Athletic. Toronto is currently in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference and still looking to replace Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol who left via free agency during the shortened offseason. Drummond is averaging 13.5 rebounds per game. Right now the team's leading rebounder is Pascal Siakam with 7.5 per game.
The Nets started the season with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Then they added James Harden. Why not a fourth All-Star? They just figured out who their point guard is, now they're going to add another big man? Is one left-handed center not enough? That's the real issue. KD and Kyrie signed up to play with their buddy, DeAndre Jordan. They just traded away all their picks to get Harden so they're going to have to send multiple player to land Drummond, or hope he'd accept a small one-year deal to play with a contender if he hits the open market.
Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis re-aggravated an Achilles injury on Sunday. While Drummond is a very different offensive player, he would replace AD's rebounding and then move into the JaVale McGee spot once Davis is healthy. A trade would be difficult, but if the Cavs throw up their arms and buy out Drummond, he could sign with the Lakers.
The Celtics have to do something. Judging by the latest Sports Guy podcast, the time has come for a panic trade. They're a .500 team in the weaker conference. Drummond would be an upgrade over all the big men on their team. Maybe Brad Stevens is just the coach to make him try hard! Boston has a ton of picks and young-ish players that might fit in Cleveland, and the trade exception left over from the Gordon Hayward transaction makes fitting his salary into the cap feasible.
Drummond could be an insurance policy in case Kristaps Porzingis continues to battle injuries this season. The Mavericks are 28th in the NBA in rebounding and Drummond would immediately help there. At 13-15 the Mavs are searching for something to give them a spark. Drummond for the rest of the season couldn't hurt. Plus he's an expiring contract and it's always nice to have some cap room to go along with Luka Doncic.