At this point, it’s clear that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Andre Drummond are no longer an item. Drummond is set to sit during the duration of his time with the Cavaliers, and we’ll have to see as far as a potential trade to come by the March 25 deadline.
Regarding reported trade discussions involving Drummond, the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have talked about a possible Drummond deal with Cleveland, and regarding those that have reported interest, the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics are among those. The Heat, based on what Jason Lloyd of The Athletic senses (subscription required), could seemingly be a buyout suitor, though, to go with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.
And as far as others linked to Drummond, Sam Amico of Forty Eight Minutes noted that includes, for further context, the Knicks, to go with the “Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets” and the LA Clippers, “among others.” For what it’s worth, though, the Raptors, per a report from Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, “aren’t actually interested in pursuing Drummond,” so perhaps that is out.
In terms of other reports/rumors on Drummond, you can check those out here.
Anyhow, on the plus side, and while it was seemingly evident Drummond’s days with the Cavs, also with him expiring, were numbered, with the Jarrett Allen trade acquisition last month, Allen has continued to show he’s the future at the 5 for Cleveland.
Although Cleveland has struggled this month, and lost nine straight, as we know, it has been a positive that Allen’s chemistry has grown with other guys such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman.
Thus far with the Cavs, Allen’s had what would be a career-high with 13.6 points per contest, to go with 8.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 26.4 minutes per game in 17 appearances.
As the Cavs pointed out, too, Allen has had 13-plus points in each of his last six games, which has been a bright spot, and a career-best in that realm, on 62.3 percent shooting. Of course, that’s been mostly right near or at the rim, but he’s been productive.
Allen continues to show he’ll be so efficient for the Cavs.
Allen, as opposed to Drummond, is productive in not having nearly the same amount of touches/usage. Drummond, who has been the least efficient volume post-up player in the league this season and commands a ton of post-up touches and even had his share of drives, often leading to turnovers, needed the ball far more often, even while he did have raw production.
Drummond, comparatively to Allen, though, is an elite offensive rebounder, but is not close to as efficient/having nearly the same touch. Drummond this season has had a career-low 51.9 percent hit rate in the restricted area, per NBA.com’s shooting data.
Whereas with Allen, it’s been a 180, and this is part of why I’m so high on him being Cleveland’s long-term answer at the 5 spot, whether that’s via separate deal to come this upcoming offseason or if needed, Cleveland matching a restricted offer sheet.
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With the Cavs, in his past 15 games (of 17), Allen’s had a 73.0 percent hit rate in the restricted area, per NBA.com’s shooting data. That’s often been because of his rolling ability/prowess for bringing down/finishing lobs from Darius Garland, albeit he’s had his share of putbacks, too. There’s also been some hooks with both hands as well, which has been nice to see.
And additionally, Allen, though the frequency won’t ever be nearly as high as right at the basket, I wouldn’t think, has started off hitting 50.0 percent of his 30 non-restricted area paint shot attempts with the Cavs.
There have been flashes of mid-range shooting from Allen throughout his career, and we’ve seen that a bit with Cleveland thus far, but he’ll have a ways to go before being a respected shooting threat from there, let alone three-point range, potentially.
Albeit Allen has hit 70.2 percent of his free throws through nearing on 3.5 seasons, and 74.3 percent so far this season with the Nets and Cavs, which is an encouraging sign.
Anyway, while Allen is not a player that’s nearly as stout as Drummond in terms of strength on the interior, and isn’t quite the rebounder, he’s proven to be an active and productive screener/roller, has still been good on the glass, and has been so efficient.
I know the vast majority of his damage has been done right at the rim, but Allen thus far this season is still leading qualified players in field goal percentage at 65.3, per Basketball Reference. And that’s been 64.2 percent with the Cleveland Cavaliers, for reference.
So again, while this Cavs team does need other guys to develop further in coming years, and a 2021 draft prospect such as Cade Cunningham, Jonathan Kuminga or Evan Mobley wouldn’t hurt as a potential franchise centerpiece, it’s nice to know what the Cavs have with Allen.
Jarrett has shown he’ll continue to be uber-efficient and mesh seamlessly with Sexton, Garland and others, and provide formidable rim protection defensively.