The Detroit Pistons grew disillusioned with Andre Drummond through the years and were looking for a way to deal him at the deadline. Their main interest was eliminating the risk he'd opt in next year for north of $28 million, completely restricting their options as they attempt to rebuild. And just when it looked like an interested party couldn't be found, the Cleveland Cavaliers emerged to say, yeah, sure, we'll take him.
The Pistons' motives are clear. Accumulate expiring contracts, use some warm bodies to finish the season, and regroup in the offseason.
The Cavaliers' motives are murkier. Though they must believe they can do better than Detroit did in parlaying Drummond the asset, they take the risk of carrying around a fat contract next year when, more than likely, they'll continue to regularly lose basketball games.
One possibility is that this all part of a provocative avant garde art project to field the best rebounding team in NBA history. Drummond leads the league with 15.8 boards per game this year. He'll join Tristan Thompson (10.4) and Kevin Love (9.8) in the frontcourt. The impossible dream of having three players in double-digit rebounds/game seems alive. It will just take some unique time management from John Beilein.
Now, some would suggest this is a very silly reason to acquire a player. But those people don't understand how important it is to put an interesting product on the floor when being competitive is not possible.
Cleveland is going to be can't-miss entertainment, just snatching ever rebound in sight and not really turning that into anything meaningful. I, for one, am extremely excited to see this bizarre social experiment play out in real time.