The coronavirus pandemic means that Andre Drummond has only played eight games for the Cleveland Cavaliers since being traded to the team Feb. 6.
Now, Drummond is likely to pick up his $28.75 million player option for 2020-21 and play out the final season of his contract with Cleveland. But will his time with the Cavs go beyond that? Or could it be over before the end of the next campaign?
According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the team and player have a "mutual interest" in an extension. But Fedor reported the two sides were "far apart in those preliminary discussion" and that currently, "an extension seems unlikely." He continued:
"The Cavs recognize Drummond's talent but they are also honest about his flaws, especially in this pace-and-space era, where bigs like him are easy to attain. They don't want to commit to an unfriendly deal that could limit future moves, not after an eight-game sample size. Drummond, meanwhile, wants to be compensated for bypassing a chance at 2021 free agency, when many teams will have significant cap space."
So if Drummond doesn't have a long-term future in Cleveland, could he be traded? The Cavaliers may not be competitive in 2020-21. And according to Fedor, there are league sources who believe the Cavs' best opportunity to maximize their value in a potential Drummond trade would be to wait until the trade deadline to deal him to a contender.
"That gives rival executives a chance to evaluate where they stand financially and competitively," Fedor wrote. "If extension talks don't reignite between Drummond and the Cavs and the goal is to get something of value before he leaves in free agency, the Cavs' best option may be taking a better-fitting player with multiple years of salary."
Drummond is a two-time All-Star who continues to play at a high level. In 57 games this past season (49 with the Detroit Pistons), he averaged a career-high 17.7 points and an NBA-high 15.2 rebounds, marking the fourth time in five seasons he's led the league in that category.
Many Teams Interested in Potential Holiday Trade
Jrue Holiday has spent the past seven seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. However, there are quite a few teams looking to bring that run to an end.
According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, "around 10 teams" have inquired with the Pelicans about trading for Holiday. Among that group is the Denver Nuggets, whom Goodwill reported have been "hot after him" and are "eager to capitalize" following their appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
Holiday has played at a consistently strong level throughout his 11-year NBA career. This past season, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 61 games for New Orleans.
If the Nuggets continue to pursue Holiday, Goodwill reported that one NBA executive believes a deal could include a Jerami Grant sign-and-trade. Grant is expected to decline his player option for 2020-21 (which is worth $9.346 million) after he came to Denver in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2019.
But if there are a good number of other teams interested in Holiday, the Pelicans could have numerous offers to consider. So the Nuggets may have to come up with a stronger package.
Latest on Pelicans' New Coaching Staff
On Thursday, the Pelicans hired Stan Van Gundy to be their new head coach. And the 61-year-old is already getting to work assembling his coaching staff.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, two candidates for positions under Van Gundy are Ime Udoka and Charles Lee.
Udoka is an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, a position he has held since June 2019. Before that, the 43-year-old was an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs for seven years. Udoka also had a seven-year playing career in the NBA, spending three of those seasons with the Spurs.
Lee has been an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks since June 2018. The 35-year-old was an assistant for the Atlanta Hawks from 2013 to 2018.
The Pelicans missed the playoffs for the second straight season in 2019-20, leading to them firing previous head coach Alvin Gentry in August. Van Gundy will be looking to lead New Orleans to more success, as the team has won only one playoff series over the past 12 seasons.