Where Could He Land?
Cavaliers have a difficult task at hand, finding a trade partner for Drummond, who comes with a massive expiring contract.
Drummond made the best personal decision any free agent would make during his playing career by exercising his $28.7 million player option last offseason with the Cavaliers. Drummond, 27, now with an expiring contract that’s quite hefty, has left very few teams in a position to pull off a trade for the big man.
However, now that the Cavs front office has made it clear that they are building their future with newly acquired Jarrett Allen. On Monday morning, Cavs announced that they will be transitioning to their new center & will seek trade partners for the 2012 draft pick. Despite the Cavs losing leverage by making the announcement earlier this week, do not be surprised to see a buyout take place in the event no trade partner is found before the NBA trade deadline.
Drummond’s Contract Expiring
Drummond is playing on a $28.7 million expiring contract, making it even more challenging for teams to compile matching salaries in a trade. The big man has averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds this season during his 25 starts. Word around the association is that playoff-contending teams have shown interest in the 7-footer big. When Drummond gets his opportunity to resume his basketball career, he will need to revert to his bread and butter—being that presence in the paint through shot-blocking, setting high pick and rolls, and attacking the rim with a ferociousness that we have become oh so accustomed to during his early years in Detroit.
Drummond to Remain with Cavs Team, but No Longer Active
Cavaliers general manager Kolby Altman has communicated the transition with Drummond agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports. Both parties have mutually agreed that Drummond will remain with the team; however, he will no longer be active for games. Drummond recently made the west coast road trip with the team, participated in team warmups but was listed as DNP – rest day.
Things began to take a downward spiral for the team last month when the organization traded for the 22-year-old Allen, named the franchise corner piece for the future. After experimenting with multiple games playing Drummond and Allen alongside was inefficient. Unbeknownst, the Cavs spiralled into their current seven-game losing streak. Much of the Cavs early success was built around a 7-foot center. As mentioned by team coach Bickerstaff, “our early success was on his back, both ends of the floor”.
Drummond Still Has Plenty Left in the Tank
At age 28, the 7-foot center from the University of Connecticut, Drummond, still has plenty of game left in the tank. During the early part of his career, Drummond was a rebounding machine that wrenched havoc on opposing teams and defensive strategies that had been thrown at him. Despite the fallout with his current squad, Drummond can provide veteran leadership both on and off the court and his playmaking ability around the rim on both ends of the court.
Drummond can inject new life to a team, and their front line, such as the Knicks or Nets, as these two teams look to assert themselves at the Eastern Conference’s top despite the latest injuries. Given that the Western Conference is fully stacked as the defending champions look to close the gap between the sizzling Utah Jazz, don’t be surprised to see teams in the East compose the best threat possible to dethrone the top seeds in the west. With the right ream, coach, and point guard, Drummond can go back to what he does best, inflicting havoc on his opponents.
Drummond to the Knicks?
Given that Drummond previously had played his college ball at UConn and with the New York Knicks resurgence this season under coach Thibodeau, I expect the Knicks to find a way to bring Drummond to support the Knicks playoff push. In essence, they could land the 4th seed in the East after losing Mitchell Robinson earlier this week due to a wrist injury.
The Knicks are serious about their playoff push, having recently traded for veteran point guard Derrick Rose. The Knicks play a dark horse in Drummond’s sweepstakes, given that this is a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since the mid-’90s. Yet, Drummond can become a building block for the now and future of the Knicks that will bring back that Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing swag to a city that is salivating a return to the NBA mountaintop as Champions.