Andre Drummond, Cavaliers Reportedly Will Work Out Contract Buyout

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond passes against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Andre Drummond's time with the Cleveland Cavaliers has come to an end.

Cleveland will work out a buyout with the big man after the team failed to trade him before Thursday's deadline, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are the leaders for potential suitors, per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The Cavaliers acquired Drummond via a trade from the Detroit Pistons last season, but he was set for unrestricted free agency following the 2020-21 campaign. He likely wasn't staying with the team long-term, so this move allows the Cavs to get out ahead of his departure.

Cleveland also had slightly more team control when it comes to fellow big man Jarrett Allen, who is a restricted free agent after this season. He is also 22 years old compared to the 27-year-old Drummond, so it may be in the Cavaliers' best interest to keep the younger player as they attempt to build a long-term contender in the Eastern Conference.

Along those lines, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported in February that the Cavaliers planned on sitting Drummond until they could work out a trade, in part because they saw Allen as the center of the future.

While Drummond played just eight games for Cleveland in 2019-20, he established himself as an automatic double-double this season. He averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.6 steals per game in 25 appearances.

Despite the impressive numbers, there are valid concerns about his game in today's era. The UConn product is a poor free-throw shooter and is not much of a factor in pick-and-pops because of an inability to hit from three-point range. Opponents who play smaller and quicker lineups against him can also exploit matchup problems.

Still, Drummond can control the boards like few players in the NBA while scoring on the blocks and protecting the rim.

The two-time All-Star and four-time rebounding champion averaged 14.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game during his seven-plus seasons with the Pistons and has averaged a double-double every season of his career outside of his rookie campaign in 2012-13.

Drummond is a traditional big playing in an era when the league has largely moved away from his style of play, but he can stuff the stat sheet and impact the game in a number of ways for whichever team signs him down the stretch.