Andre Drummond

Central Notes: Crowder, Drummond, Sirvydis, Bitadze, Cavs, Garland

The Bucks are a potential suitor for Jae Crowder, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast (hat tip to RealGM). Milwaukee is interested in forwards like Crowder who can guard multiple positions. They had some interest in a former Pistons forward, according to Lowe.

“The Bucks were sneakily kind of sniffing around Jerami Grant in Detroit before Portland swooped in,” he said. “I think they like the idea of the switchable, switchable, switchable guys.”

Crowder won’t participate in the Suns training camp as they look to move him.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Bulls center Andre Drummond will back up Nikola Vucevic, but Drummond still views himself as a starter, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The former All-Star signed a two-year, $6.6MM contract with Chicago early in free agency.
  • A trio of Pacers big men are nursing ankle injuries, Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Deividas Sirvydis will miss some time after injuring his ankle in a pick-up game last week. Center Goga Bitadze is close, but not 100%, due his gimpy ankle, while Jalen Smith is close to full strength. Sirvydis’ ailment could cost him a shot at a roster spot — he signed a non-guaranteed, one-year contract that included Exhibit 10 language.
  • With the addition of Donovan Mitchell, the Cavaliers realize that they’re not going to surprise anyone this season, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “I think people know what we’re capable of now,” forward Kevin Love said. “If we put it together, we aren’t a team that’s really going to surprise anybody anymore. We’ve got some young stars that I think are going to make a lot of noise this year.”
  • Fresh off signing a five-year extension, Darius Garland is looked upon as the leader of the Cavaliers, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes. “He’s a guy that people want to follow, they want to see him be successful, so it’s his opportunity and his responsibility to lead those guys in that way,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

Bulls Notes: Point Guard, Dragic, LaVine, Front Office

With Lonzo Ball undergoing another procedure on his knee and preparing to be sidelined for the start of the 2022/23 season, the Bulls will have to come up with a plan for how to replace his production at point guard, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, who examines the top candidates to take Ball’s spot in the starting lineup.

As Mayberry outlines, Alex Caruso probably makes the most sense as Ball’s short-term replacement, given his experience, leadership, and defensive abilities. While Caruso isn’t a big-time offensive player, that wouldn’t be a problem if he’s playing alongside Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.

Still, like Ball, Caruso has an injury history and shouldn’t be leaned on too heavily, since having both players on the shelf would seriously limit the effectiveness of Chicago’s backcourt, Mayberry writes. Ayo Dosunmu, Goran Dragic, and Coby White are the other candidates to take Ball’s place in the starting five.

Here’s more on the Bulls:

  • In another story for The Athletic, Mayberry poses 10 questions that will shape the Bulls’ season, including whether LaVine can realistically take his game to another level after signing a five-year, maximum-salary contract.
  • While Dragic and Andre Drummond were solid veteran signings, it remains to be seen whether they’ll help specifically address the Bulls’ shooting and rim protection, two needs management publicly acknowledged entering the offseason, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
  • The honeymoon period is just about over for the Bulls’ front office led by Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley as they enter their third season in Chicago, says Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Cowley, Karnisovas has proven he’s an “organizational-changer,” but the Bulls will have to continue moving toward title contention rather than peaking as a middle-of-the-pack playoff team.
  • The Bulls have a new jersey sponsor, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago, who writes that a Motorola Mobility patch will replace the Zenni Optical logo on the team’s jerseys starting this season.

Andre Drummond Finds “Fun” In Changing Teams

Andre Drummond may have entered a journeyman phase of his NBA career, but he’s trying to enjoy the experience, writes Mike Anthony of The New Haven Register.

Drummond signed a two-year contract with the Bulls this summer that includes a $3.36MM player option for the 2023/24 season. The 29-year-old center played for the Sixers and Nets last season, and Chicago will be his fifth team since 2020 after spending his first seven-and-a-half years with the Pistons.

“It’s like a field trip,” Drummond said Saturday during a visit to Connecticut for a youth basketball program. “I’ve moved around a lot. But I just control what I can control. For me, it’s kind of fun. You’ve got to look at it as a fun journey. Being in one place eight straight years, I loved Detroit. Detroit gave me the career I have today. To see different cities and be with different organizations, I’ve taken it as a fun time, experiencing different cultures.”

Drummond is coming off a disjointed season in which he had to adjust to a different role halfway through. He was comfortable as a backup to Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, but he was sent to Brooklyn in February as part of the James Harden deal. He became the Nets’ starting center and posted 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds in 24 games despite playing just 22.3 minutes per night.

Drummond hopes to have several more years in the NBA and wants to keep playing as long as he can. The two-time All-Star has led the league in rebounding four times, and he told Anthony that he would like to be remembered as the best rebounder in the history of the league.

“I think I’m already there,” he said. “I’m on my way. By the time I retire, I’ll go down as the best rebounder ever — if not already.”

Contract Details: Drummond, Jones, LaVine, Cancar, Martin, Nurkic

The two-year contracts that Andre Drummond and Derrick Jones signed with the Bulls have virtually identical terms. Both players will earn guaranteed $3.2MM salaries in 2022/23, with $3.36MM player options for the ’23/24 season, Hoops Rumors has learned. The only real difference between the two deals is how the Bulls completed them — Drummond received a portion of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, while Jones was re-signed using his Non-Bird rights.

Here are more details on recently signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • Zach LaVine‘s five-year, maximum-salary contract with the Bulls includes a 15% trade kicker, Hoops Rumors has learned. For 2022/23, at least, that kicker will be inconsequential since LaVine is already earning the max, but it could be a factor later in his deal if the annual salary cap increases outpace his annual 8% raises.
  • Vlatko Cancar‘s three-year contract with the Nuggets features matching $2,234,359 cap hits in each of the first two seasons, plus a $2,346,606 team option for 2024/25. The first two years are guaranteed.
  • Heat forward Caleb Martin received a starting salary of $6,479,000, which is the full portion of the taxpayer mid-level exception. Miami remains below the tax apron, so the team can use the rest of the non-taxpayer MLE (approximately $4MM more) if it so chooses. Martin also got a third-year player option and a 15% trade kicker on his new three-year deal.
  • Jusuf Nurkic‘s four-year, $70MM contract with the Trail Blazers is fully guaranteed and is structured with standard 8% annual raises. It starts at $15,625,000 in 2022/23 and increases to $19,375,000 by year four in ’25/26.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Sexton, Bulls, Pacers, Stephenson

The Cavaliers were decisive and intentional in the areas they wanted to address in free agency, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber link). As Fedor previously outlined, bringing back Ricky Rubio was always the top priority in early free agency, but because Rubio is expected to miss at least the first few months of next season while recovering from a torn ACL, the Cavs needed to bring in a second backup point guard to fill in for a while, which is why they agreed to a deal with Raul Neto.

Rubio has been rehabbing in Spain, but sources tell Fedor that the point guard is expected to travel to Cleveland shortly after his signing becomes official so his progress can be checked by team doctors. Adding two backups point guards instead of one creates a roster crunch for the Cavaliers, as after reaching a deal with backup center Robin Lopez, the team will have 15 players under contract with Collin Sexton still a restricted free agent.

Cleveland expects Rubio’s on-court impact could be limited in the first year of his deal, per Fedor, which is why the Cavs brought him back on a three-year contract, with the third year being partially guaranteed. A sign-and-trade with Indiana to free up a roster spot and money remains an option, according to Fedor, who points to Dylan Windler and Cedi Osman as players who could be on the move — if the Pacers are interested.

As for Sexton, sources tell Fedor that the Cavs are determined to stay below the luxury tax line — they’re currently about $15MM below — and view Sexton as worthy of a deal that would pay him in the low-to-mid teens annually. However, despite positive developments in recent negotiations, sources tell Fedor that Sexton wants “starting guard money with an annual salary that starts with a 2, not a 1.”

He has no market,” an opposing executive told Cleveland.com.

Fedor says the negotiations might take a while, and Sexton accepting his $7.2MM qualifying offer in an attempt to rebuild his value and reach unrestricted free agency in 2023 is a real possibility. Sources also tell Fedor that Darius Garland‘s five-year max extension with the Cavaliers is a straight five-year deal with no player option in the fifth season.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Zach LaVine outperformed his previous two contracts (rookie contract and then a four-year, $78MM deal that he just completed), but his new five-year max deal with the Bulls will be measured by the team’s postseason performance, not his individual statistics, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
  • In a couple of stories for NBC Sports Chicago, Rob Schaefer explores how impending free agent acquisitions Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic can help the Bulls. Schaefer notes that Drummond isn’t an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he should still be a marginal upgrade over last season’s backup centers, especially on the boards. As for Dragic, Schaefer views the veteran guard as a low-risk insurance policy for Lonzo Ball, since Dragic is signed to a minimum contract.
  • Don’t expect Lance Stephenson to re-sign with the Pacers anytime soon, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Once Indiana’s trade with Boston is complete, the Pacers will have 19 players under contract for next season, so they’ll have to figure out how to trim the roster before anything happens with Stephenson — assuming they want him back.

Bulls Sign Andre Drummond

JULY 6: The Bulls have made it official with Drummond, announcing the deal on Twitter.


JUNE 30: The Bulls will add veteran center Andre Drummond to bolster their frontcourt, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports (Twitter link) that Chicago will ink Drummond to a two-year, $6.6MM contract, with a player option for 2023/24. A two-year deal at the veteran’s minimum would be worth $5.95MM, so presumably the Bulls – who don’t have the bi-annual exception available this season – are dipping into their mid-level to complete the signing.

The Drummond deal is the first reported free agent addition for Chicago during the 2022 offseason. The team is still hoping to re-sign two-time All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine, an unrestricted free agent. Unsigned veteran free agent forward Danilo Gallinari has also been mentioned as a possibility for Chicago.

Additionally, the Bulls have a $5MM trade exception left over from a Daniel Theis sign-and-trade during the 2021 offseason it must use (or lose) by July 7.

Drummond, 28, is coming off an impressive bounce-back season split between the Sixers and Nets, and Chicago no doubt hopes he can help shore up the team’s frontcourt depth.

Selected by the Pistons with the ninth pick out of Connecticut in 2012, the 6’10” Drummond blossomed into a two-time All-Star for Detroit. Drummond agreed to a five-year maximum-salary contract with Detroit in 2016. He was eventually traded to the Cavaliers, before signing a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Lakers ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Playing as a reserve behind Sixers All-Star Joel Embiid to start the 2021/22 season on another minimum deal, Drummond saw limited touches on offense, but was still able to feast on the glass in limited minutes. Across 18.4 MPG, he averaged 6.1 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.9 BPG in 49 contests with Philadelphia.

The Sixers included Drummond to the Nets as part of the team’s trade package for All-Star guard James Harden. With Brooklyn, Drummond enjoyed an expanded offensive role. He started in all 24 of his games with the Nets, averaging 11.8 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.0 BPG and 0.9 SPG during 22.3 MPG.

Atlantic Rumors: Knicks, Barrett, Harris, DiVincenzo

With the Knicks expecting to re-sign Mitchell Robinson, the next focus will be on finding a back-up center, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. There’s an opening with Nerlens Noel headed to the Pistons in a salary dump trade.

New York has expressed interest in several free agent centers, sources tell Begley. He adds that the team plans to convert two-way player Jericho Sims to a standard contract and may re-sign Taj Gibson if he’s needed for depth.

Isaiah Hartenstein could be under consideration, tweets Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, although several teams have interest in the Clippers center. The Knicks will aggressively pursue Hartenstein, Begley adds in a separate story, and may have interest in Andre Drummond as well.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Fischer cites “mutual interest” in an extension agreement between the Knicks and RJ Barrett (Twitter link from Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School). The 22-year-old swingman was the team’s second-leading scorer this season at 20.0 points per game.
  • The Sixers haven’t given up efforts to trade Tobias Harris, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (Twitter link from Talkin’ NBA). Windhorst expects the team to shake up its roster to find players who fit better alongside Joel Embiid and James Harden.
  • The Raptors could have interest in Donte DiVincenzo, who is unrestricted after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Kings, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Grange says Toronto would have pursued Pat Connaughton if he hadn’t decided to exercise his player option with Milwaukee, adding that DiVincenzo is younger and better suited for a playmaking role.

Bulls Rumors: LaVine, Gallinari, Drummond, White

Zach LaVine is expected to finalize a new contract with the Bulls shortly after free agency begins at 6:00 pm Eastern, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. LaVine has informed people that he plans to stay in Chicago, and his new contract will likely be a five-year max deal in the $215MM range, Johnson adds.

After weeks of rumors that LaVine was prepared to explore his options on the free agent market, the situation has settled down in recent days and a return to Chicago appeared imminent. General manager Marc Eversley said after last week’s draft that the team would “do what it will take” to re-sign LaVine.

The 27-year-old guard has been an All-Star the past two years. He dealt with knee issues this season, but was still able to average 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 67 games.

There’s more from Chicago, all courtesy of Johnson:

  • The Bulls are among several teams that would have interest in adding Danilo Gallinari if he gets waived by the Spurs. The move is expected after San Antonio agreed to acquire Gallinari on Wednesday as part of the return for Dejounte Murray. Johnson estimates that Gallinari will receive a two-year deal worth about $7-8MM per season and points out that Billy Donovan coached Gallinari with the Thunder.
  • Chicago, which has been linked to several centers through trade and free agency rumors, has interest in signing Andre Drummond. Several other teams will also pursue Drummond, Johnson adds, but he should be available on a veteran’s minimum salary.
  • Johnson says rumors that the Bulls will try to sign Mohamed Bamba are “on life support” and believes that reports of interest in dealing for Jazz center Rudy Gobert were exaggerated. Another possibility could be trading for San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl if the Spurs continue to unload their veterans.
  • It appears likely that third-year guard Coby White will remain in Chicago. Johnson states that the Bulls listened to offers for White before the draft and were asking for a young rotation player and a draft pick. White is among Chicago’s best outside shooters and provides backcourt depth that is important with concerns about Lonzo Ball‘s knee.

Rockets Notes: Free Agent Targets, Burke, Gordon, Draft

The Rockets will target a backup center when free agency opens at the end of the month, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The team is short on reliable big men after agreeing to trade Christian Wood to the Mavericks, and although Houston will receive Boban Marjanovic in the deal, the front office plans to explore other options on the free agent market.

Feigen identifies Nic Claxton as one possibility, saying the Nets likely wouldn’t match a full mid-level exception offer (starting at $10MM+) because of luxury tax concerns. Claxton was a part-time starter this season and put up career-best numbers with 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per night.

Other free agents that Feigen mentions include former Rocket Isaiah Hartenstein, Andre Drummond, Mason Plumlee, Mo Bamba, Hassan Whiteside, JaVale McGee and Dewayne Dedmon. After a promising rookie year, Alperen Sengun is expected to be Houston’s starting center next season.

There’s more on the Rockets:

  • As expected, Mavericks guard Trey Burke has officially exercised his $3.3MM player option for next season, which is necessary for the Wood trade to be finalized, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. The deal still can’t be announced until after Dallas picks at No. 26 on Thursday because the Mavs owe a protected 2023 first-round pick to New York.
  • In his latest piece for Substack, Marc Stein confirms that the Rockets are shopping veteran guard Eric Gordon in hopes of getting a first-round pick in return. Houston also tried to move Gordon at the trade deadline, but couldn’t find an acceptable offer. The 33-year-old will make $19.57MM next season and a non-guaranteed $20.92MM in 2023/24.
  • In a separate story, Feigen examines the information the Rockets use when evaluating draft prospects. The team was among the first to embrace analytics under former general manager Daryl Morey, but current GM Rafael Stone admits there are many times when the numbers don’t match what talent evaluators believe they’re seeing. “There are so many different tools you can look at,” he said. “If you like a particular stat a majority of the time it can easily lie to you in individual instances. You don’t just go back to work with video. You can back to work with the whole thing. It gives you hints about what you need to study more with a particular player.”

Atlantic Notes: Drummond, Embiid, Tatum, Brown, R. Williams

Andre Drummond has been a valuable addition for the Nets since being acquired in the James Harden trade, but he understands the arrangement may be short-term, writes Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. Drummond has taken over as Brooklyn’s starting center, averaging 12.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in 17 games. However, he’s playing on a veteran’s minimum contract that he signed with the Sixers and will be seeking a raise in free agency this summer.

That offer is unlikely to come from the Nets, who are already facing a salary cap crunch with the league’s second-highest payroll, Winfield adds. Considering the situation, Drummond acknowledged that Brooklyn was wise to hold onto young center Nic Claxton at the trade deadline.

“And if we’re all being honest, I’m only here til the rest of the season,” Drummond said. “So who knows what’s gonna happen in the offseason? So they need a guy like (Nic).”

Drummond clarified his comments at this morning’s shootaround, saying he wants to stay with the Nets but the situation is unpredictable, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Sixers center Joel Embiid said it was “draining” to have to deal with the Ben Simmons situation, but it forced him to become a better leader. Embiid was often vocal in the media about Simmons’ absence, saying in October that “our job is not to babysit somebody.” “It was a tough situation to navigate and go through (with Simmons),” Embiid told Amick. “Even to this day, I don’t have any hard feelings towards everything that happened. But being in my position, having to answer questions about that whole thing every single day, it was kind of draining. And I’m sure it was draining for my teammates.”
  • The Celtics never seriously considered breaking up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown before last month’s trade deadline, but there was talk around the league and among sources close to both players that Boston might pursue that path over the summer, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. There’s no chance of a split following the Celtics’ recent surge to the top of the Eastern Conference, but Fischer states that a few teams had their eyes on Brown in early February. The Sixers would have pursued him if they hadn’t found a taker for Simmons, and Fischer identifies the Hawks and Heat as other potential suitors.
  • Celtics coach Ime Udoka said some surgical options could enable injured center Robert Williams to return for the second or third round of the playoffs, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.