NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andre Drummond Contract, Lance Thomas Interest

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJune 29, 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

The schedule for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season has been set. From July 30, there will be basketball to watch again, with a pair of games slated to tip off in Orlando, Florida.

For the 22 teams that will be playing, much of the past week has been spent figuring out their rosters for the upcoming games. A seven-day transaction window started Tuesday, allowing teams to make free-agent signings and get things in order.

For the eight teams that won't be playing, there's been buzz around them too, as they can begin focusing on what to do this offseason and preparing for the NBA draft, which has been pushed back to October.

Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the NBA.

                       

Could Drummond Have a Long-Term Future in Cleveland?

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With Andre Drummond holding a $28.75 million player option for the 2020-21 season, there's a strong chance he will be back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who acquired the 26-year-old center in a trade with the Detroit Pistons in February. During an appearance on ESPN's Le Batard & Friends—STUpodity podcast last week, Drummond said he would "definitely" be opting in.

There's also a chance Drummond could stay with the Cavs beyond next season. Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor recently wrote that "both sides have shown interest in an extension." In Drummond's first eight games with Cleveland, he averaged 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest.

That type of production is nothing new for Drummond, who has averaged at least 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds per game every season since 2013-14. He's led the NBA in rebounds per game four times during his eight-year career, including this season, when he averaged 15.2 boards over 57 games with the Pistons and Cavs.

Fedor noted that there's a lot to figure out before Drummond can sign a long-term extension with the Cavaliers in late October. It's possible Cleveland could select a top big man in the NBA draft, such as Memphis' James Wiseman or USC's Onyeka Okongwu. The Cavs also haven't gotten to see how Drummond fits into their lineup much (and they are one of the eight teams not invited to Orlando to complete the 2019-20 season), so they may want to see him in action more before inking him to a huge deal.

The Cavaliers will also have a decision to make regarding Tristan Thompson, who is set to become a free agent this offseason. With Drummond, Kevin Love and Thompson potentially all on the roster, one of them would have to come off the bench.

Because Drummond will only be 27 during the 2020-21 season, it's easy to see why the Cavaliers might want to commit to him more than Love (31) and Thompson (29). Especially if he continues to play at a high level.

                      

Teams Interested in Potentially Signing Thomas

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Since Tuesday, NBA teams have been making free-agent signings to fill out their rosters for the resumption of the 2019-20 season. With some players opting not to go to Orlando to participate, some of the 22 teams have had spots to fill.

Those teams have until Tuesday to sign free agents. And one player who could still get a deal is 32-year-old forward Lance Thomas.

According to SNY's Ian Begley and Alex Smith, "several teams" have expressed interest in Thomas, who hasn't played in the NBA since the 2018-19 season. He has eight years' experience in the league, spending time with the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks.

Thomas signed with the Brooklyn Nets in September, but he was waived less than a month later. In the 2018-19 campaign with the Knicks, he averaged 4.5 points over 46 games (17 starts). His best showing came for New York in 2015-16, when he averaged 8.2 points in 59 games.

A 6'8" forward, Thomas is a solid three-point shooter, so he could join a team that is looking to add perimeter shooting off the bench. During his first three full seasons in New York, he shot 41.5 percent from behind the arc.

If Thomas gets into an NBA game for the first time since April 2019 later this season, he will be in a different uniform to the one he wore most recently. The Knicks are one of the eight teams that weren't invited to Orlando to complete the season.

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