The Cavs are fielding offers for Andre Drummond but their reportedly firm asking price may make it hard for them to find a deal.
One way or another, the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ frontcourt is going to thin out before the trade deadline. The Cavs currently have Jarrett Allen, Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Love, Andre Drummond and JaVale McGee and are reportedly listening to offers on everyone but Allen. He was acquired as part of the James Harden trade and, because of his age and upside, is probably the one long-term piece in that group.
Drummond is, at this point, the best player of that group but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the easiest for the Cavaliers to trade. According to ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst (h/t CavsNation), the Cavs would like to get a talented young player or at least a second-round pick in exchange for Drummond. Unfortunately, that might be a hard offer to secure.
Why will it be hard for the Cavs to trade Andre Drummond?
The first issue is that Drummond is an unrestricted free agent this offseason which means any team that trades for him has to be willing to pay his next contract or pay for a partial-season rental. The teams who could use Drummond as depth for a playoff run (Nets, Raptors, Lakers, Blazers) aren’t really the same teams that have space or need to re-sign him next season.
And even the teams who might be willing to pony up for a rental just for this season may not have a ton to offer. The Nets barely have any depth they could risk parting with and the second-round picks they hold this year (Atlanta, Indiana, Phoenix) are all likely to come later in the round. To varying degrees with see the same scenario with teams like the Raptors, Lakers and Blazers. If any of those teams are going to add Drummond they’d probably wait for a buyout and lower the cost for themselves.
In short, the Cavaliers may be choosing between saving a small amount of money with a buyout or taking a late second-round pick or longshot prospect.