Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that Drummond told his teammates that the situation in Cleveland is worse than the one he left with the Detroit Pistons. Drummond was traded from Detroit to Cleveland for John Henson, Brandon Knight and a 2023 second-round pick two weeks ago.
Charania, Lloyd and Vardon also reported Drummond said that his feelings regarding the Cavs will play a role in whether he exercises his $29 million player option for next season. However, Drummond denied the report on Twitter:
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavaliers have negotiated a settlement with head coach John Beilein, which will end his tenure after less than one season. J.B. Bickerstaff will take over as the new head coach.
Detroit essentially gave up Drummond for pennies on the dollar due to his contract situation. The Pistons were unwilling or unable to sign him to a long-term extension, and he could have potentially left for free agency after the season.
Cleveland may be in the same position, but it gave up so little to get Drummond that it may have been worth the risk regardless.
At 14-40, the Cavs are the worst team in the Eastern Conference, and they are 3.5 games behind a Pistons team that traded Drummond and is without injured forward Blake Griffin as well.
The Cavs lured Beilein away from the University of Michigan during the offseason in hopes that he could help turn the franchise around, but he didn't even make it through one year of the five-year deal he signed.
Cleveland reached four straight NBA Finals from 2014-15 through 2017-18 and won a championship in 2016, but following the departures of Kyrie Irving and then LeBron James, the Cavs have been one of the NBA's worst teams.
Despite leading the Cavaliers to their first championship, head coach Tyronn Lue was fired after an 0-6 start last season. Larry Drew went 19-57 in his place and the Cavs finished 19-63 on the year. With the departure of Beilein, the Cavs are now on their fourth different head coach in the past two seasons.
Drummond is a two-time All-Star who is on pace for his fourth career rebounding title. Statistically, this has been the best season of his career with averages of 17.7 points, 15.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.
With Drummond, the young guard duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, and five-time All-Star forward Kevin Love, the Cavs have some pieces in place that could make them competitive in the Eastern Conference under the right leadership.
Given how many coaching changes the Cavs have been through over the past two years, however, selling Drummond on stability and a chance to contend for a playoff spot next season will be difficult.