Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, one of 29 veterans who has a player option for 2020/21, confirmed during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN’s Le Batard & Friends — STUpodity podcast that he expects to exercise that option.
“Yeah, it’s going to be hard to give up, so you can count on me being in Cleveland still,” Drummond said when asked about his option decision (link via ESPN). “I definitely will be in Cleveland.”
Drummond’s comments today don’t come as a real surprise. His option is worth $28,751,774, a salary that would have been tough to turn down even before the coronavirus pandemic jeopardized the league’s 2020/21 cap projection. A report shortly after Cleveland acquired Drummond in February indicated that he was expected to opt in.
Still, knowing that the 26-year-old plans to pick up that option should help the Cavaliers plan the rest of their offseason. With that $28.75MM on their books, the Cavs are unlikely to have any cap room, and may be less inclined to aggressively pursue a new deal with Tristan Thompson, their other veteran center.
After spending the seven-and-a-half years of his NBA career in Detroit, Drummond appeared in just eight games for Cleveland following the February trade between the Pistons and Cavs. For the season, he averaged 17.7 PPG, 1.9 SPG, 1.6 BPG, and a league-leading 15.2 RPG in 57 games (33.0 MPG) with the two clubs.