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Report: Knicks Have 'Degree of Interest' in Andre Drummond in NBA Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Rival teams believe the New York Knicks have a "degree of interest" in free agent Andre Drummond, according to Ian Begley of SNY.

The Knicks will also be "aggressive in their pursuit" of center Isaiah Hartenstein.

New York is looking for a backup center behind Mitchell Robinson, who is also an unrestricted free agent after spending the past four years with the Knicks. The team is confident it can re-sign Robinson, per Begley, but waiting until free agency provides the opportunity to go over the salary cap.

The Knicks reportedly traded Nerlens Noel to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, creating a major hole in the frontcourt.

Drummond, 28, could be a fit after splitting last season between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. He was more effective in Brooklyn after a midseason trade, averaging 11.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in 24 starts.

Though his playing time has fluctuated in recent years, the 6'10" veteran remains an impact player defensively. Between the two locations in 2021-22, Drummond averaged 17.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks per 36 minutes in 73 appearances.

The two-time All-Star has four rebounding titles in his career with an average of 13.8 points per game across 10 seasons.

Considering the Knicks tied for fifth in the NBA in rebounding percentage, this could remain a strength with the addition of Drummond.

The 7'0" Hartenstein represents a younger option, although less proven. The 24-year-old averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last year with the Los Angeles Clippers and hit 46.7 percent of his three-pointers (14-of-30). If he can continue to develop his outside shot, the center could be a difference-maker.

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