Cavs: One key goal for Andre Drummond for 2020-21, assuming he’s back

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Under the assumption that he’ll be on the Cleveland Cavaliers next season, here, I’ll stress one key 2020-21 goal for Andre Drummond.

It was rough for trade deadline acquisition Andre Drummond that he only was able to play eight games with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2019-20 campaign. That was due to him missing some action due to a left calf strain, and then the NBA’s season went into a novel coronavirus-induced hiatus in mid-March.

Drummond took a bit to get into a rhythm for Cleveland, and it’s still not exactly clear how he’d go on to fit alongside pieces such as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Love.

Even so, Drummond did prove to be a solid interior presence on both ends, and had 17.5 points per game with the Cavaliers. While he did not have nearly the league-leading 15.8 boards per game he had with the Pistons to that point in 2019-20, he still had 11.1 per outing with Cleveland.

Moreover, looking at the 2020-21 season, I’d expect Drummond to pick up where he left off with the Cavs.

I emphasize looking then of course, given that the Cavs’ 2019-20 is over, as of the league’s Board of Governors approving the NBA’s 22-team proposal for a resumption at Disney World on Thursday and the NBPA’s player reps also approving that on Friday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Drummond is reportedly likely to pick up his $28.8 million player option for next season, and assuming he’s back, he’ll do damage as a post-up threat/hard roller.

Plus, his rebounding splits will likely increase some than was initially the case with Cleveland. He’ll be more comfortable, and the expiring Tristan Thompson has a high possibility of playing elsewhere in 2020-21 it seems.

Looking at next season for the Cavaliers, though, a key goal I have for Drummond relates to the defensive end mostly as a helper/rotator.

Next season, a key goal that stands out for Drummond for the Cleveland Cavaliers is averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

Frankly, it’s unclear whether or not Drummond can fit with the Cavaliers long term, with him being not all that viable in switching out in pick-and-roll coverage on to perimeter players and not being a floor spacer, but he still has very good instincts as a rotator.

Drummond made his presence felt early on for the Cavs in that regard, which played into him averaging 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per outing in that eight-game span.

More from King James Gospel

It was also really impressive that Drummond was second in the league in total steals heading into the hiatus. He’s the only center that placed in the top 20 in that category currently, too, as indicated by Basketball Reference.

Drummond’s instincts in relation to getting his hands in passing lanes, deflecting spray-outs and/or getting his hands on/altering interior attempts should again help the Cavs, under the assumption that he’ll be back in 2020-21.

While I could honestly foresee Drummond be a quality expiring trade piece for the Cleveland Cavaliers as next season progresses, he still would be the player I’d probably pick to lead the Cavs in both steals and blocks per game, anyhow.

So looking at next year for the Cavs, assuming Dre is back, and whether or not he sticks around through all of 2020-21, it’d be great to see Drummond have at least 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. I loop those two together into one key goal for his team defense, really.

Him hitting those splits would show he’d be having a meaningful impact as an interior rotator/stunter in passing lanes and be affecting shots near the rim/in the paint and utilizing his 7-foot-6 wingspan to help out other pieces. Sexton, Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. for example, come to mind.

While it’s uncertain at this point if Drummond can be a long term contributor for the Cavaliers, I’d at least expect him to make his presence felt next season, assuming he’d be back, as an impact help/interior defender and great rebounder.

Next. One key goal for Kevin Love for 2020-21. dark

Anyhow, look for Dre to likely end his share of opponents’ possessions as a Cavalier next season and help generate transition opportunities going the other way for Sexton and company.