With the March 25 trade deadline just 10 days away, we’ll soon find out whether the Cavaliers are right to believe they can find a worthwhile trade for Andre Drummond. Sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic that Cleveland continues to seek a modest asset, such as a second-round pick, for Drummond, while rival teams are skeptical that such an offer will be available.
For the time being, the Cavaliers remain opposed to the idea of buying out Drummond, but if that ultimately becomes their most viable option, the Lakers and Nets would be the center’s top suitors once he clears waivers, writes Charania.
One other scenario to watch would involve the Knicks. According to Charania, New York has explored the possibility of pursuing Drummond and has mulled offering him a multiyear deal if agrees to a buyout with Cleveland. The Knicks still have about $15MM in cap room this season, meaning the club could offer more years and more money than rival suitors for Drummond on the buyout market.
If Drummond is bought out and signs with a team like the Lakers or Nets, he’d enter free agency this offseason coming off a minimum-salary contract (or something close to it) and would only have Non-Bird rights, limiting his options on the open market. As such, he could be intrigued by the idea of getting a jump-start on free agency by signing an in-season multiyear deal with the Knicks.
Charania’s report is light on additional details, so it remains to be seen just how strong an offer the Knicks would be willing to make in that scenario — they’d probably have to go into the mid-level range or higher for Drummond to seriously consider it. It’s also unclear whether New York is focused only on buyout scenarios or if the club will make an effort to trade for the Cavs big man.