Building chemistry with other Cavs is key for Andre Drummond in camp

Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love and Andre Drummond celebrate after a made basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love and Andre Drummond celebrate after a made basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Andre Drummond hasn’t had much game action with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It’s unfortunate for both Andre Drummond and the Cleveland Cavaliers that he didn’t have much time with them in-game last season.

Drummond was acquired by Cleveland near the 2020 trade deadline via trade from the Detroit Pistons, but given the NBA’s novel coronavirus-induced hiatus/Cleveland not being an Orlando bubble team, he only appeared in eight 2019-20 games with them.

As was reportedly expected, Drummond did end up picking up his $28.7 million player option for next season, though, and he’ll have more playing time with his teammates soon. The 2020-21 NBA season is set to tip off on Dec. 22.

Albeit the Cavs are in training camp now, and for Drummond, it’s crucial for him to establish more chemistry with other Cavs players currently. So, ideally, that’d aid him/Cleveland next season.

Drummond establishing chemistry with other Cavs is key in training camp.

Dre only played eight games in 2019-20 with Cleveland, and although he did start to make his presence felt more after a few were under his belt with Cleveland, it’s paramount for him to further establish some chemistry with other Cavs players in camp.

Leading into the season, it would pay off for him to get some 5-on-5 run alongside Kevin Love, Darius Garland, to go with Collin Sexton, among others.

Of course, individual workouts have seemingly been the case thus far. But with some practice stretches with others such as Isaac Okoro, Dylan Windler and Damyean Dotson, let’s hope Drummond can have some rapport with those guys leading into 2020-21, too, anyhow.

Granted, Drummond could seemingly be an expiring trade piece for the Cavs, more so near the 2021 deadline, of which the NBA is reportedly targeting as being March 25, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Albeit the Cavs and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff appear to believe that Dre could perhaps be a nice fit. So maybe he could potentially stick around through the deadline if he does fit in well and/or maybe he could re-sign via more reasonable deal next offseason?

We’ll have to see, anyway. But circling back, Drummond establishing chemistry in training camp with other Cavs players heading into the 2020-21 season in coming weeks needs to be a focal point for now for the Wine and Gold.

Obviously, for players such as Okoro, Windler, JaVale McGee and Dotson, chemistry-building in camp, somewhat I would think even, with others, is a point of emphasis, too.

Albeit with Drummond, in this sense, he and the Cavs’ number of game reps, and given COVID-19 protocols, practice/5-on-5 reps even, which will be limited for a bit more it seems, were anything but a considerable sample. Drummond had 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game in his eight 2019-20 appearances with the Cavs, and made seemingly more of an impact in the last four to five games leading into the hiatus, though.

Nonetheless, the season’s abrupt end for Cleveland again didn’t allow the Cavaliers organization to have a proper evaluation of him, but with Drummond being a non-shooting presence/not much of a switchout defender, I’m skeptical long-term for now.

However, on the plus side, they are primed to have more of that with Drummond opting in, as was again, expected, and his presence inside and being arguably the game’s best rebounder, along with a formidable screener, does bring intrigue.

But to reiterate, perhaps in training camp and in Cavs preseason action, which will begin on Dec. 12 and of which Cleveland will play four games versus the Indiana Pacers twice and at the New York Knicks twice, it’s key for Drummond to get in ample reps alongside others.

Hopefully, that will have been the case, though, and pretty early on, Drummond is on the same page most of the time on the interior on both ends with others, and as an on/off-ball screener for the likes of Garland, Sexton and/or Love/Windler.

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Moreover, it should be interesting to see how Drummond fits in with the Cavs with more of a sample size, I’d assume. But thankfully after what’s been such a layoff, we’ll see how that plays out soon.