- Two-time All-Star player Andre Drummond has not played a game since 12th February
- Drummond is reportedly working on a deal with Cleveland Cavaliers for a buyout
- Drummond will likely get a prorated portion of the $28.7 million he’s due this season
The NBA trading deadline came and went but Andre Drummond did not move, unable to find a trade partner on Thursday for the benched center, Cleveland Cavaliers will try to structure a contract buyout for the two-time All-Star, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.
The last game Drummond played was on the 12th of February, however, he could wind up on a contending team after being pushed aside in Cleveland. The sides could come to an agreement to any financial figure for the buyout, and Drummond could likely be staring at a prorated portion of the $ 28.7 million he’s due this season.
When this happen, the buyout will conclude an awkward situation for Drummond and the Cavs, who took him out of the lineup so they could give Jarrett Allen more playing time after they acquired the young center from Brooklyn in January 2021.
Even though Drummond did not play a single game, he remained engaged with his teammates. J B Bickerstaff, Cavs’ Coach lauded the way Drummond handled things.
On a Zoom call from Los Angeles, Bockerstaff said, “It’s good for both of us to be honest with you. It’s good for the organization. It’s good for Dre, too.
“I couldn’t say enough good things about how he’s handled all this because it wasn’t easy. He’s a competitor. He wants to play. He loves his teammates. His teammates love him.
“And he could have been a jerk and had an attitude and not been good with his teammates and said negative things. But he never did. He handled it professionally. But more so, Dre’s a great dude.
“He can never stoop to that level and that’s one of the things that we need to make sure that we focus on and remember, how gracefully he handled an extremely difficult situation.”
Cavs expected their Thursday to be busy, however, they made just one deal, agreeing to send their veteran centre JaVale McGeee to the Denver Nuggets for the 22-year-old center Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round draft picks, a person familiar with the deal told the Assosicated Press.
“The picks are in 2023 and 2027, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade must be approved by the league,” wrote NBA.com
Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly shopped forwards Cedi Osman and Taurean Prince, however, only made the deal involving McGee, who was kept out of Wednesday’s win at Chicago as trade talks began to take shape.
McGee was invaluable for the Cavs, as he provided quality minutes and also served as a mentor to their young players. However, while the three-time NBA champion will be missed in Cleveland, he’s joining a Denver team with a legitimate shot at dethroning the Los Angeles Lakers out West.
Coach Bickerstaff said, “He’s the consummate pro and not just with the stuff he does on the court.
“The way he embraced the fan base. The way he embraced his teammates. For a guy coming from championship runs to our situation, it was unique that he was able to take that type of role and we appreciate it for sure.”
So far, Cavs have had an uneven season as they are 17-27, however, only 2.5 games behind the Bulls for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference and the final play-in spot.
Cleveland continues on their road trip at the Lakers on Friday night.
Drummond, who has chosen to not speak to the media since early February, can now leave Cleveland with a buyout and join a contender. He’s been linked to various teams, including the champion Lakers, who could be in the market for some help as LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been sidelined due to injuries.
Having said this, Bickerstaff is also excited for what’s to come for Drummond, who came to the Cavs last season after eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
Bickerstaff said, “There’s no reason not to root for him,” and added, “He deserves it as a person. He deserves all the success he has that is coming his way. He puts the time in. He works his tail off.
“Early in the season when we got to 10 wins, we wouldn’t have had those 10 wins without him. We were ranked at the top of the league defensively.
“We wouldn’t have been ranked if it wasn’t for him. I got nothing but great things to say about my experience with Dre and I wish him the best moving forward.”