Cavaliers Rumors: Andre Drummond 'Likely' to Exercise $28.8M Contract Option

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond (3) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Chicago. Chicago won 108-103. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Paul Beaty/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond is reportedly considered "likely" to pick up his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season. 

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported Drummond is leaning toward staying in Cleveland, though the team has been given no assurances. The Cavs acquired Drummond at the trade deadline for the surprisingly paltry sum of Brandon Knight, John Henson and a future second-round pick.

Drummond averaged 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in eight games with the Cavs before the NBA season was indefinitely postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. He spent his first seven and a half seasons in Detroit, making two All-Star teams and earning a third-team All-NBA selection in 2016.

Given his accomplishments with the franchise, it was a surprise for the Pistons to essentially salary dump him to avoid paying the option. 

That said, it's understandable given the virtual certainty of him opting in. Drummond has attempted to improve his jumper, but he's still mostly a relic as the proliferation of the three ball continues across the NBA. He's hit 15 threes in his NBA career, though four came in eight games with Cleveland. 

There is also massive uncertainty regarding the NBA's financial state because of the pandemic. The number of teams with available cap space this summer was already minimal, and most that had it are rebuilding and/or hoarding it for a loaded 2021 free-agent class. Should the NBA be forced to cancel games because of the pandemic, thus losing the television and gate revenue, it will affect the cap. 

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It's possible the NBA and NBPA will agree to a level of cap smoothing to help the process, but the 2020 offseason is not an ideal time to become a free agent.

Drummond, like many others, will almost certainly lean into the certainty of a guaranteed contract umber rather than wade into free agency with so much up in the air. 

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