Andre Drummond is a player who has received mixed opinions from fans and critics. Some claim that Drummond is the best rebounder of our generation, with huge defensive upside. Others say that he’s overrated, and someone who puts up stats on a bad team. The truth is that we simply don’t know: perhaps both those things could be true: a generational rebounder could just be stuck on a bad team. Detroit and Cleveland weren’t competitive during his time with those teams, and perhaps the best of Drummond is yet to come.
This offseason, Drummond is a likely candidate to get traded. Drummond accepted his player option, which let him stay with Cleveland for the last year of his contract. As the Cavaliers are rebuilding, Drummond will likely get traded for future assets and picks. He wouldn’t command huge offers in the trade market: it’s the last year of his deal and he could easily walk in free agency. Drummond could be of use to teams who need an upgrade at the C position, and there are some teams there who are looking to contend. These are some teams that could take a shot at making Drummond their starting center.
5. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Andre Drummond
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, a future second-round pick
After seeing the Lakers this year, teams have got to be wondering about the defensive versatility a line up with two bigs can provide. There are transcendent big men in each conference, so there has to be someone who can guard them. The Dallas Mavericks could try to assemble their own “twin towers” next to Luka Doncic and try to make a stalwart defensive squad around the young superstar. Drummond wouldn’t be difficult to get, considering he’s in the last year of his contract.
The Mavericks would give up a future second-round pick here for Drummond. The rest of the trade is mostly salary filler, but Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell are solid role players who are locked up for multiple years and can be traded down the line later on in Cleveland’s rebuild. The trade packages are going to be lower on assets to reflect Drummond’s contract situation.
4. Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Receive: Andre Drummond
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Cody Zeller, a future second-round pick
People are joking about Gordon Hayward joining LaMelo Ball in Charlotte; the Hornets gave him a max contract, despite the rest of the roster being fairly thin. There are some possibilities for the Hornets though: if the Charlotte Hornets trade for Andre Drummond, they’ve suddenly got a big 3. We’ve seen traditional rim running big men like Clint Capela and Kenneth Faried excel with a playmaker like James Harden; Drummond could be the beneficiary of similar passing, assisted by LaMelo Ball.
Drummond would be an excellent opportunity for the Hornets to add low-risk talent to their roster, meaning that if there’s a deal to be had, it is likely Michael Jordan signs off on it. In this trade scenario, the Hornets would send out Cody Zeller for the salary. But the more intriguing part of the trade for the Cavaliers is the one pick they would get. It offers them flexibility in the future, and it is better than losing Drummond for zero value.
3. Miami Heat
Miami Heat Receive: Andre Drummond
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk
The Miami Heat could take a shot and add a player that would be a luxury on the roster in Andre Drummond. Drummond could be a high minutes sixth man behind Bam Adebayo at the C position. Drummond could improve his team defense on the Heat under Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra’s influence: he’s a great interior defender and rebounder, but can get lost on switches and team defense situations.
This trade would happen in return for Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk expires at the end of this year, and Iguodala would become an expiring contract next year. The Cavaliers could let Olynyk go to pay less money while trading Andre Iguodala next year to a contending team for some small returns. While this deal may not be the best possible return, the Cavaliers could find vets appealing in the short term to help their younger players develop.
2. New York Knicks
New York Knicks Receive: Andre Drummond
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Julius Randle
The Knicks have been looking for stars during this offseason. While they struck out this season, acquiring a star player is certainly on the agenda for the next offseason. The Knicks could kill two birds with one stone by acquiring Andre Drummond. Drummond could be the star name that the Knicks want, at the very least for at least a season. If Drummond does well, then they could re-sign him to a long term deal. If not, they can chase other stars due to Drummond being a one year deal.
Julius Randle would be a solid return for the Cavaliers. Randle can score if given the opportunity, despite being a subpar playmaker and undersized for his position. Randle could be good over the next few years as being the 6th man off the bench, specifically focusing on scoring. Randle could also help Obi Toppin develop his inside skillset and become an effective inside player. If the Cavaliers don’t like what they have in Randle, then they could eventually trade him. This deal is a great long term deal for both franchises.
1. Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls Receive: Andre Drummond
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky, a future first-round pick
The Chicago Bulls look like they could be gearing up for a playoff berth next season. To do that, they could trade for a consistent performer at the C in Andre Drummond. If the Bulls package Otto Porter and Wendell Carter for a veteran wing to make the playoffs, Drummond could be their last missing piece. Drummond would get the heavy minutes that he is used to while being the starter on the Bulls.
The Cavaliers would receive two solid defensive players in Satoransky and Young. The future first-round pick could hurt to give up; but if the Bulls are trying to compete, then it would mean their future first-round pick may be out of the lottery. For the Bulls, the primary draw for this trade is a guaranteed elite player. Drummond could help shore up the inside for the Bulls, and a late first-round pick for someone like that isn’t a huge price to pay.