NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andre Drummond's New Cavaliers Contract, 2020 Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 8: Andre Drummond #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers smiles during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on March 8, 2020 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

For 22 teams, operations are focused on gearing up for the NBA's restart in Orlando, Florida on July 30. For the other eight, there is a long time to ponder what they plan to do with the offseason.

Due to the NBA's hiatus and subsequent return, the offseason has essentially been pushed back until October. That leaves several months for the teams who have already been eliminated to establish their plans for the future, as nearly all of them would be considered to be in the middle of an extensive rebuild. 

There are few teams that term describes better than the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

The latest move in their attempt to rebuild a relevant team in the wake of LeBron James' latest exit from the 216 was the trade for Andre Drummond.

While the prolific center came cheap in terms of assets, he came with a fairly hefty price tag. The former Pistons star will command a $28.75 million cap figure when he officially opts in to the final year of his contract. 

Given the general market for traditional centers, the financial uncertainty of the coming offseason and his relatively short stint with the Cavs, his 2021 status seems to be a foregone conclusion. The question is if the big man is part of the team's long-term plans. 

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Chris Fedor of reported that could well be the case as "both sides have shown interest in an extension." However, he also pointed out a lot could change before October when Drummond would be eligible to sign such a deal. 

The Drummond situation is an example of how teams that weren't invited to Orlando will suffer from the season coming to a sudden halt. The Cavs made a splashy move bringing in the 26-year-old only to watch the season get shut down with him playing just eight games with the team. 

If the Cavs could have finished out the season, they would have had a chance to evaluate how he fits in with their future. As it stands, they only saw an eight-game stretch in which he put up 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and the Cavaliers went 4-4 with wins over the Spurs and Heat in overtime. 

That's an encouraging span of games but certainly not enough to commit to the center long-term, especially when the Cavaliers could wind up in position to draft James Wiseman of Memphis or Onyeka Okongwu or USC.

Either of those prospects would allow the Cavs to add a center who is more in line with the timetable set by Collin Sexton and Darius Garland while allowing them to spend money elsewhere. 


Drop Out of Top Three in Lottery Would Be Welcomed

Most years, the top spot in the lottery is a coveted prize. Winning the lottery is usually the quickest route to giving a fledgling franchise a jolt of hope, but that might not be the case in 2020. 

ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported many teams are actually hoping to fall in the lottery based on uncertainty both financially and with the prospects. 

"With no consensus regarding who the best prospects are, dropping out of the top three appears less costly this year," he wrote. "Several NBA executives have told me they would welcome it because of the question marks surrounding the top talents and the cost savings the rookie scale would provide."

Givony went on to explain the cap ramifications of a fall down the draft board. The top pick projects to cost the team $47 million over four years while the fifth pick would cost $29 million over the same period. 

There are some high-upside prospects in this year's class, but there really isn't a consensus No. 1 player.

LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards and Wiseman are three of the biggest names, but each comes with question marks: Ball has been playing internationally, Wiseman played just three games at Memphis, and Edwards is a questionable defender.

None are considered to be can't-miss prospects on the same level of Zion Williamson or even Ben Simmons. 

Given the extra time teams will have to dig in to the prospects and the potential for major changes to the salary cap, this could be an unusually unpredictable draft. The top picks could wind up being available for much less than usual as teams try to get out of the top of the draft.