Cavs: It’s hard to foresee Andre Drummond not pick up option

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond handles the ball. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Andre Drummond handles the ball. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It appears Andre Drummond may not be certain regarding his player option, of which he’d return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Andre Drummond has been a key subject of conversation involving the Cleveland Cavaliers in recent days.

But even if the Cavs were to look to trade Drummond, according to a report from’s Chris Fedor, should he opt into his $28.7 million player option, their “best chance” to move him would be near the 2021 trade deadline.

Per Fedor, while there was “mutual interest” before in a contract extension between the two sides, the two “have been far apart in those preliminary discussions.”

Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell seemingly reported on Wednesday that the negotations aren’t going to become more in the realm of common ground, either, and that it’s “only going to become even more uncomfortable this offseason.” Dammarell then also emphasized that it “already has been uncomfortable at times,” per his sources.

From there, though, Dammarell seemingly still noted that Drummond will likely end up opting in, and should be a Cav. But he did mention how the Boston Celtics, [LA] Clippers and San Antonio Spurs would be logical trade suitors for Drummond, and that the C’s are “monitoring” the Cavs-Drummond situation.

Albeit in relation to Drummond’s upcoming plans, he was not definitive in a recent interview with Fedor about what he intends to do, on the topic of his player option for next season.

Here was more on his response to Fedor asking about that/if he’s already made up his mind about picking it up.

"“As of right now I’m just focusing on what I can worry about. Working on my game. Right now, just worrying about what’s happening with the next couple of months, before the season. Whenever it’s time to start, and when that time does come to make that decision, everybody will know. Right now, I’m a Cleveland Cavalier. In terms of extending, we will find that out when the time comes around.”"

When it comes to what’ll go into that, here was what the former Detroit Pistons big in Drummond told Fedor.

"“I’m at a point in my career where I spent the last eight years in Detroit and I’m looking forward to the new start. If it’s with the Cavs, fantastic. But I’m not at that point now to even have that thought process.”"

Drummond from there expressed how he has not been thinking about free agency/the impending decision, really at all, with Fedor, but “when that time comes, when we need to make a decision, I will have my answer ready.”

Additionally, per a report from Chris Sheridan of, it appears that Drummond, in fact, may really not be firm either way yet. Albeit it’s been reportedly highly likely that Drummond will eventually pick up his player option for quite some time.

Here was what Sheridan noted on Thursday, though, and stressed Fedor’s transcription of that “If” from Drummond.

"‘If’ is a strong word in this instance, and a well-informed league source told that Drummond is genuinely undecided about exercising his player option.”‘"

From there, Sheridan took a closer look at the teams with the means via cap space to sign Drummond and/or acquire him via sign-and-trade.

He then highlighted the New York Knicks, who are set to have $43 million in cap space and with how now-head coach Tom Thibobeau might not be the biggest fan of the “laid-back” demeanor of Mitchell Robinson, who rarely started last season.

Sheridan also noted how a sign-and-trade could be feasible with New York sending the Cavs back an expiring/partially guaranteed piece in either Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson or Elfrid Payton, for instance. Lastly, he also touched on Drummond’s connection to the area.

"“It should also be noted that Drummond was born in Mount Vernon, NY, and played college ball at UConn, so a move back to the New York metropolitan area would make sense from that perspective.”"

From there, Sheridan mentioned the Charlotte Hornets as a possibility, with them set to have nearly “$30 million in cap space” this upcoming free agency period. And Bismack Biyombo is set to be on the market.

That said, it’s still reasonable to believe Dre eventually will pick up his player option. That’s also given how Drummond said to Fedor in that interview how Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is an “awesome leader,” and Drummond highlighted his connection with teammates still, and seemingly his desire to play with them more.

It’s hard to foresee Drummond not pick up his player option/return to the Cavs for next season.

For Drummond, I get that he’s a two-time All-Star center. Plus, he’s fresh off averaging a career-best 17.7 points per contest in 2019-20, to go with leading the NBA in rebounding for the fourth time in his career to this point.

He had a healthy 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks per outing as well, and he was getting more comfortable with the Cavaliers leading into the past season’s stoppage.

So, even while he is reportedly “genuinely undecided” about picking up his player option, and him and the Cavaliers are, as referenced above, not close in extension talks, you’d think it’d be better for Drummond from a basketball standpoint to opt in than go to New York or Charlotte.

And with the way the league is headed, and with how Drummond has not proven to be a floor spacing, even have a reliable mid-range J or really too much of a playmaking big, whose to say he’d even be satisfied with a Knicks or Hornets offer anyway?

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We’d have to see what those offers would be, but for Drummond’s career, I’d still imagine being able to play alongside a player like Kevin Love more, whose one of the league’s best shooting bigs, and with some promising young players and on a team that had momentum, would be a logical move.

Plus, as Fedor reported, a deadline deal involving Drummond could be in the cards down the road, and perhaps he could go to a contender and hit the market next offseason, anyhow?

While I personally am skeptical of him wanting to become more versatile with his game, of which you can view more about here.

But either way, you’d think it’d be more wise to try to maybe show that a bit next season for him to help solidify his value?

It’s really, really difficult to foresee Drummond not exercise a deal worth nearly $29 million, especially with how the novel coronavirus pandemic won’t exactly increase the cap outlook around the league.

I’d still firmly expect Dre to be back next season with the Wine and Gold. Clearly, though, the hesitation is extension-related, and we’ll see there, albeit I have my doubts.

But maybe Drummond stays with the Cavs through the next deadline if his fit works well/he picks up his option, and the Cavaliers and him work out a long-term deal next free agency period?

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Again, we’ll see.