It’s well known around the NBA that the Cavs are currently shopping their star big man Andre Drummond and reports are the team could even be thinking of buying out his contract. The Cavs are loaded with big men and they recently traded for their center of the future in Jarret Allen. But even if Drummond leaves this coming offseason (he is on an expiring contract), the Cavs could benefit more by keeping him for the remainder of the season rather than trading or releasing him.
If you are thinking that it would be better for the Cavs to trade Drummond now to extract maximum value, you’re likely to be disappointed by what he brings in return. When looking at what the Cavs gave up for him, the package consisted of a future second-round pick plus back-ups Brandon Knight and John Henson. Essentially two undesirable contracts and a future late-round pick. So the return may not be much.
Now, look at what Drummond has done on the court for the Cavs. They have gone from having the worst defensive rating in the league to being in the top-10. Drummond is a huge factor in their success. He currently has the most Defensive Win Shares in the league. And he is leading the league in Total Rebound Percentage and Rebounds Per Game while scoring the highest points per game in his career (albeit not very efficiently).
Trading away Drummond would likely end the Cavs’ playoff chances for this season. This would be fine if they were to get lucky in the lottery and end up drafting higher than their expected finish. But the front office shouldn’t bet on this strategy. At this stage in the rebuild, even a small bit of playoff experience would benefit the Cavs young core for the future. So the Cavs should hold on to Drummond for this season and just enjoy the ride.
Manning, C. (2020, October 21). Andre Drummond [Digital image]. Retrieved February 12, 2021, from https://www.fearthesword.com/2020/10/21/21526065/andre-drummond-cleveland-cavaliers-contract-update