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.