Drummond Likely To Opt In; Cavs Won’t Mind

Andre Drummond is likely to opt in for next season and the Cavaliers won’t mind if he remains off the free agent market, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Drummond, who was dealt by the Pistons for the expiring contracts of Brandon Knight and John Henson and a second-round pick, was expected to leave $28.75MM on the table and test a weak free agent market. However, the possibility of Drummond opting in convinced Detroit to trade him. Sam Amico of SI.com also reported earlier today that Drummond is planning to opt in (Twitter link).

Cleveland was aware that Drummond might do so but made the deal with the intention of keeping the league’s premier rebounder around beyond this season.

“I think in terms of his age and what he brings to our team, absolutely we consider him a potential long-term play,” Cavaliers GM Koby Altman said. “Obviously, he has a player option that if he picks up, we think we’re in good shape to assume, in terms of our cap space. There’s no better money spent than Andre Drummond if he picks up his option, so with the player option or not, we have flexibility and optionality moving forward.”

We have more on Cleveland’s acquisition of Drummond:

  • The Cavs have had their eyes on Drummond for awhile after seeing him in the division four times a season, ESPN’s Eric Woodyard relays. Cleveland believes he’ll fit in well with its young core. “Adding a talent of this magnitude is something that we couldn’t pass up, and he also fits our timeline in terms of his age,” Altman said. “He’s 26 years old, so I think he fits with some of our younger guys and our timeline, so when the opportunity arose, we jumped on it, and here we are.”
  • Drummond is represented by Jeff Schwartz, the agent who represents power forward Kevin Love, and that’s not necessarily a good thing, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic writes. Love’s unhappiness with the organization is well documented, which means Drummond already knows plenty about Love’s grievances, Lloyd points out.
  • The Cavaliers could have ensured themselves approximately $40MM in cap space this summer by not making this deal but there was no one else in the market worth spending their money on, Lloyd notes in the same piece. They might use same strategy they did with Love and offer to overpay him with a long-term contract in an effort to convince Drummond to stay long term, Lloyd adds.
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17 thoughts on “Drummond Likely To Opt In; Cavs Won’t Mind

  1. phillyballers

    Yea the Love strategy worked out well so far. 100% The Cavs at least did something tho, not sure why they didnt deal Thompson or Delly too.

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Great question on TT. Cavs made out like a bandit. A 18/15 Center for a 2nd, who cares if he doesn’t shoot 3’s. Put 4 shooters around him. Ok, a little bit if a high price tag. Still how long has it been since Cavs a Center this good ?

    • Michael Chaney

      Anderson Varejao had his moments but the last starting center they had that was this good was probably Ilgauskas

      • El Don

        I would say Brad Daugherty, Ilgauskas was good but nowhere near at the elite level of Drummond.

  3. This was a no lose proposition for the Cavs from start, since they gave up only a low 2nd. If he opts out, he’s an UFA in a market with little cap space, where they hold his Bird rights. If he opts in, he’d be a great full year rental for them or a trade partner. Those Bird rights continue after that. Or they can extend him at a much lower number.

    • Michael Chaney

      As far as I’m concerned it’s a win because there’s no one else really worth using cap space on anyway. Drummond was already one of the best players on the market.

      The issue is his fit in today’s game, but I think that’s overstated. If you build the roster correctly around him (i.e. with shooters and floor spacers), you can win with him. He’ll never be the best player on a championship team, but he’s a really good piece to have anyway. 26 year olds that average 18 and 16 don’t come around often.

      • x%sure

        I looked at HR’s list of FAs known to be available for offseason 2020, and it is NOT impressive. Drummund compares well. However more names will be available as players opt out, like Drummond still can.

        It’s not a bad call by Altman but it’s up to the player to make it smart.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        Bingo. Good players are good players, you just have to plan to maximize their abilities. Drummond isn’t a superstar, but there aren’t enough of those for every team to have one. So smart play be Cleveland here.

  4. Grant

    Theu now have the top 2 offensive rebounders in the league in Thompson and Drummond.

  5. x%sure

    Drumond helps Altman avoid the embarrassment of going forward with unused capspace. Nevermind if he’s worth it. I figured there would be an overpay somehow next offseason, well here he is now for a year and a half at least.
    I hope the short move works out. If he’s mad about being dumped, it’s not a bad thing.

      • x%sure

        Hope you’re right and he gets into the change. Cavs don’t typically run P&Rs, but maybe they should, like other teams.

        If Drumond can get something going with Garland or Sexton, that would be good; Love mostly does not.
        Love could de-emphasize his rebounding which would free him up. He’s not going anywhere trade-wise.

  6. Skip, Tampa

    Agree completely on the whole Garland / Sexton issue. Should settle on one and use the other for a serious upgrade at SG or SF. Drummond is still a home run no matter what.

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