It’s now more than likely that we will see an Andre Drummond trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of the March 25 deadline. This is magnified by the fact that Cleveland opted to remove Drummond from its lineup until a trade can be worked out.
Drummond, 27, is actually in the midst of a career-best season. He’s averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals on 47% shooting from the field. The four-time NBA rebounding champion also continues to play elite-level defense.
Set to hit free agency this coming summer, Drummond is counting $28.75 million against the cap. That complicates things further given the economic downturn around the NBA due to COVID-19.
However, there’s not going to be a shortage of NBA teams interested in his services. Below, I look at four ideal Andre Drummond trade scenarios.
Andre Drummond trade to the Dallas Mavericks
It’s not a secret that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been in the market for a true two-way center since the departure of DeAndre Jordan. Not only would Drummond provide that next to Kristaps Porzingis, his defensive ability is needed for a Mavericks squad that is giving up 114.6 points per game. Simply put, Dallas is not going to get back into the playoff race until it improves on that end of the court.
To make a Drummond trade worth it for Cleveland, the Mavericks offer up a 2021 second-round pick and protected future first-round pick. The expiring contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr. and James Johnson would have to head to the Cavaliers with Matthew Dellavedova making his way to Dallas in order for this to work.
Andre Drummond trade to the Brooklyn Nets
Realistically, Brooklyn won’t be able to add someone like Drummond to the mix unless he hits the buyout market (extremely unlikely). The James Harden trade has led to a thin bench. Meanwhile, the Nets don’t have traditional assets to offer up Cleveland in this trade scenario.
With that said, there’s an hypothetical Andre Drummond trade to Brooklyn that could work. This would include the Nets giving up promising guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is sidelined with a partially torn ACL. He would be a target for Cleveland in that the 27-year-old guard averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists a season ago.
To make the salaries work, these Cavaliers would also have to take on the deals of DeAndre Jordan and Tyler Johnson. Whether the team would be willing to do that remains to be seen. Brooklyn might have to offer up a couple second-round picks to make it work.
Andre Drummond trade to the Charlotte Hornets
Surprisingly sitting as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets might actually be buyers ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Michael Jordan’s decision to pay Gordon Hayward through the roof last offseason adds another layer to this. If so, center is the primary need in Charlotte with Hayward and rookie LaMelo Ball leading the charge.
A trade of this magnitude likely wouldn’t require Charlotte giving up a first-round pick. Rather, moving small forward Miles Bridges in an Andre Drummond trade could work. He fits a need for Cleveland, is just 22 years old and has shown promise. From there, the Cavaliers take on Cody Zeller and Malik Monk to make the salaries work. Of all the trade scenarios, this could make the most sense.
Andre Drummond trade to the Sacramento Kings
Yet another team that is surprisingly in playoff contention, Sacramento has been in need of a center for some time now. While Drummond might be a rental, adding him to the mix with the team’s star backcourt trio could very well vault the Kings into top-six seeding contention come playoff time out west.
This scenario would include Sacramento giving up salary fillers Cory Joseph and Jabari Parker as well as sharpshooting wing Nemanja Bjelica, who is no longer in head coach Luke Walton’s rotation. Given that none of them are true assets for Cleveland outside of Bjelica in a potential separate trade, the Kings would also have to throw in draft pick assets. It could work.