Cavs rumors: Latest shows Andre Drummond’s production is taken with grain of salt

Cleveland Cavaliers big Andre Drummond shoots the ball. (Photo by Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Andre Drummond shoots the ball. (Photo by Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers have seemingly been looking to deal Andre Drummond for a while at this point, and Drummond/his camp and the club agreed to him sitting in games until they find a potential trade partner for him. Cavs rumors about possible trades involving Drummond have appeared to suggest that there has been a number of other clubs linked to him, for further context.

But as we know, trade interest has been a different story, although there has been some interest. The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have reportedly had trade discussions centered on Drummond with the Cavs previously. More recently, the Chicago Bulls were a club that were reportedly interested in Drummond, and in relation to other rumors/reports from then, you can view those here.

And per a report from Sam Amico of Forty Eight Minutes and OutKick, as was the case before, as Amico noted, the New York Knicks are a club that has interest in Drummond in a potential trade scenario. Albeit the Knicks would reportedly prefer a buyout scenario, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (subscription required).

Charania also reported how the Cavaliers are looking to get an asset back for Drummond, though, such as a second-round pick, but other clubs appear to believe that Cleveland is hard-pressed to find one in a trade for the big man. In that realm, Amico reported how the Cavs, seemingly if a questionable or “bad” contract for a veteran were to included, a young player would have to be as well, seemingly as an alternative.

From there, in regards to a potential buyout, though, Charania reported how the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are the likely top candidates to land Dre if he’s bought out, but the Knicks again would have interest. And per Shams, New York would be in to offer Andre a “multiyear deal as a free agent via buyout,” so we’ll see on that.

And as a quick side note, as Amico reported, Cleveland is looking to make other moves before the March 25 trade deadline. Cedi Osman, Taurean Prince and JaVale McGee have previously been rumored to be trade candidates for one, and you can view more on potential interest at the link above. Osman has reportedly drawn interest from the Nets, LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors, for example.

And per a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, the expiring McGee wouldn’t be interested in a potential buyout, but that McGee has drawn interest contenders, and from the Nets, in particular. Amico also reported how Cleveland could potentially just keep McGee through the season, albeit would likely be looking to get back a big in a McGee deal, and that the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks have been linked to him.

So the key we’ll hit on here, circling back, is the Drummond thing/Cavs rumors in that realm. Drummond again has not been playing for a while to this point as Cleveland has sought possible trades for him. But there is reported skepticism about the Cavaliers/general manager Koby Altman being able to land a spot for him via trade, as was referenced.

Nonetheless, even while Drummond has had notable production this season, and has in years past with the Detroit Pistons, as evidenced by him having led the league in rebounding four times, it’s clear that it’s not been portrayed as the most meaningful, if you will.

The latest Cavs rumors involving Drummond do seem to show his production has been taken with a grain of salt.

I give Drummond his credit for what he did for the Cavs early on this season, when they have were especially banged up/thin when it came to key regular rotation contributors. On the year, he’s had 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and a healthy 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.

It’s apparent that for several seasons, Drummond has been a double-double machine, and when he’s engaged, he can very well be an impact defender on the interior, which aided Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and others.

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Drummond’s effort pre-Jarrett Allen trade was mostly good for Cleveland, too, but after it, he was noticeably not the same in that regard, and in the realm of the two sides agreeing on him sitting, he was reportedly not satisfied with his minutes-share post-Allen trade acquisition.

And the effort from that point on was clearly shown, to a large extent.

Moreover, it’s evident that regarding Cavs rumors about potential trades, and considering Cleveland essentially acquired him for a then-2023 second-round pick and two expiring players, that Drummond’s production has been taken with a grain of salt.

Essentially, while he is a gifted rebounder, and I’m not necessarily glossing over that, Drummond’s lack of touch outside of right near the rim has played directly into him simply piling up offensive rebounds from misses over the years.

And during this season with the Cavs, Drummond, who shoots the vast majority of his shots in the restricted area, has hit a career-low 47.4 percent from the field.

It’s no secret that Drummond, while not having been efficient, also needs so many post-ups in games, and would have too many drives, neither of which led to great offense consistently; albeit he seemingly had the freedom do so.

Granted, he’s been able to get his hands in passing lanes, and when engaged, has shown he can be a viable rim protector, factoring in the other end, on the interior. But again, post-Allen trade, and at times before that, Drummond would attempt and miss bad shots trying to do far too much, and then Cleveland would basically be playing 4-on-5 defense.

The key point is, considering that there’s reported skepticism that Cleveland will be able to land a second-round pick, seemingly, for Drummond, it seems as if the raw production from him has been taken with a grain of salt. And with the declining effort post-Allen trade, and him reportedly not having been satisfied with his minutes after that, it wasn’t shocking that a mutual agreement came with him sitting since last month.

To his credit, though, Drummond has still seemingly mostly been on the sidelines, and has still been engaged with teammates in-game, which I’m not discounting.

We’ll ultimately have to see if a trade does happen, anyhow, or a buyout. And for what it’s worth, David Aldridge and Fred Katz of The Athletic (subscription required) reported on Tuesday how the Washington Wizards are “monitoring” the Drummond situation, to see if a buyout occurs.

Garland has taken another step forward recently. dark. Next

Either way, the Cavs acquired Drummond for pennies, and it’s uncertain if he’ll be able to actually buy into being more self-aware to win and be able to have a smaller role where he’s not hijacking offense often. Maybe he can? It’s tough to say.