The Cleveland Cavaliers have made things quite blunt by saying they would like to focus on Jarrett Allen as their primary center for the team, per Adrian Wojnarowski. This has left the costly Andre Drummond outside of their focus, and posted onto the NBA trade block.
Drummond, 27, is averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game this season. He is shooting 47.4% from the field and 59.7% from the free-throw line. He is also sporting the best assist percentage (15.8%) of his career this season.
Here are three possible trade destinations for the big man:
The Toronto Raptors have already been linked to offers for Drummond since he hit the block. In a lot of ways, this makes sense for the Toronto Raptors to be active in getting Drummond. The Raptors could offer draft capital and proven players like Norman Powell.
For starters, the Raptors are one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA. The Raptors haul in 50 total rebounds per game (29th in the NBA) and 32.2 defensive rebounds per game (28th). Drummond is second in total rebounds per game in the NBA, hauling in 13.5 per game this season. He would help on both sides of the ball in that area, ranking fourth in offensive rebounds and fifth in defensive rebounds per game this season.
Drummond would make a great fit into the lineup for the Raptors since they lack depth at the position. The Raptors currently play Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher at the center. Baynes averages 5.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and one assist per game on worse shooting percentages than Drummond from the field. Boucher gets them 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and one assist per game, and can shoot from three.
The center would make an excellent addition to a small-ball starting lineup of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Annunoby, and Pascal Siakam, as the clean-up man. His only drawback is his inability to shoot effectively outside of the paint (career < 0.1% field goals attempted anywhere outside of 10 feet). Another concern is his ability to pass in the Raptors cutting/slip screen offense – something Marc Gasol made an impact as there, making passes from the high post. Drummond has only ever averaged a maximum of three assists per game in his career.
The Charlotte Hornets could certainly use more star power for their small-market team. They got the ball rolling with the addition of Gordon Hayward and drafting the potential rookie of the year, LaMelo Ball. The Hornets have their own picks for the next coming drafts, plus a plethora of young talent to choose from like Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk.
Drummond would make an excellent fit for the Hornets roster as another reliable scoring option. He has taken the most shots per game of his career this season (15.2), shooting 47.4% from the field, and averaging 17.5 points per game. The Hornets’ top five scorers mostly shoot from the outside, except for P.J Washington. They are below average this season in points in the paint (17th in the NBA).
The Hornets could also use some defensive accountability. They rank below average in defensive efficiency, opponent points in the paint, and defensive rebounds per game. Drummond is an excellent interior defender and has led the league twice in defensive win shares and recording a positive defensive box plus/minus this season.
Drummond is a solid fit for the Hornets who are left with Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo at the position. While neither the two of them need to be replaced, the opportunity to get Andre Drummond is far too great for the Hornets not to consider.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are exceeding expectations this season with a 16-11 record, landing them sixth in the Western Conference at the moment. They can save themselves a predicament for the future by getting Drummond, knowing LaMarcus Aldridge is bound to be on his way out of the NBA at some point. The Spurs have a ton of young talent and draft capital of their own they could use to receive Drummond.
The Spurs need help in Andre Drummond-specific areas. On offense, they rank 23rd in points in the paint per game, 20th in points per game, and 21st in offensive rebounds per game. On defense, they are 26th in opponent points in the paint, but a good rebounding team in that sense. Drummond could be the factor the Spurs need to make a run at the playoffs, after getting off to a hot start this season.
Drummond could be another star to take the pressure off of DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray. The Spurs will need more power at the center position, so why not Drummond? The Spurs currently only have Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks at the center position.
The situation with Drummond is difficult in Cleveland. They have opted to bench him while they figure out his future. There is a strong chance that Drummond’s contract will be bought out by the Cavaliers, which would release him into free agency.
In that case, Drummond could sign with big teams like the Brooklyn Nets or the Los Angeles Clippers to make them stronger contenders for a title. Still, it would be better for the Cavaliers to try to retain some value for him because buying him out would cost money for nothing in return.