Andre Drummond Rumors: 'Growing Expectation' Cavs Buy Star out Amid Trade Buzz

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 21, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond drives in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been working to trade Andre Drummond for more than a month, but as the trade deadline approaches, they may have to turn to a buyout to shed him from the roster.

According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the team still thinks it will find an offer for the big by Thursday, but "there's a growing expectation" elsewhere in the league that Drummond will be bought out of his contract. 

The difficulty in finding a trade partner isn't based on Drummond's on-court abilities. The 27-year-old was averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in 25 outings before the Cavaliers started holding him out of the lineup in February.

It's the financial commitment that comes with him that has teams holding off, per Fedor. Drummond is due $28.75 million in the final year of the five-year, $127.2 million deal he signed with the Detroit Pistons back in 2016 (via Spotrac). 

Fedor wrote that "most teams interested are playoff contenders" and aren't looking to tear down their roster in order to make room for Drummond and his paycheck. But one executive told Fedor that teams who have been linked to the big in a trade—including the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors—may put together a deal at the last minute because they don't want to risk losing out on Drummond when he hits the free-agent market in the event of a buyout.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are at the "top of the list" to sign him if negotiations reach the buyout stage (h/t Jonathan Adams of Heavy.com).

The Cavs have until Thursday to figure something out on the trade front.