The Cleveland Cavaliers are either hoping they can find a way to convince LeBron James to stay in Cleveland or look to rebuild as he walks out the door. Two of the options being thrown around, according to Orestis Rantis of King James Gospel, is the Cavaliers sending Kevin Love to the Denver Nuggets for guard Jamal Murray or either the Detroit Pistons for Andre Drummond.
Rantis would go on to say that the Cavaliers is in dire need of a guard with Murray’s abilities. Plus the fact that he’s only 21-years old could give the Cavaliers a face of the franchise after LeBron leaves or retires. Murray, on the season, has averaged 16.4 points while shooting 46 percent from the floor. While adding Murray will surely be a big boost, it may not work out for the Nuggets. With Nikola Jokic set to re-sign with the Nuggets and the team giving a Paul Millsap a two-year $61 million deal, there’s no room for Love.
The Drummond option might be where a deal can be done. There are no secrets that the Pistons have shopped Drummond in the past. The organization will base their reasons on Drummond not becoming the scoring option they hoped he would. On the season, Drummond has averaged 15 points and 15.7 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the floor. With the recent addition of Blake Griffin, the Pistons may be in the market to move Drummond to find a player who better fits Griffin’s style of play.
While Drummond (11.3 FGA) does not take away any real shots from Griffin, he’s not known as one of the best transition floor runners in the NBA. Trading Drummond for Love (17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds) will give the Pistons two post payers who can score from the blocks and the perimeter which can stretch a defense for the guards to attack the rim.
On the Cavaliers side of the coin, Drummond will be the post player the Cavaliers have been searching for since LeBron James returned to Cleveland. While Love has provided a band-aid to their defensive issues, he’s not the long-term answer here. While the Cavaliers have flirted with the addition of DeAndre Jordan this season, Drummond will work better over the course of his career.
There’s no need for the Cavaliers to find an offensive-minded center to pair with their load of scorers. Some may assume the Cavs will miss Love’s production but look at the moves they made during the 2018 NBA trade deadline. The Cavaliers acquired Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Rodney Hood. All players can score from the perimeter plus attack the rim. Add Drummond, one of the most powerful players in the league to that group, and the Cavaliers are ready to contend, yet again.
As far as contracts go, Love still has close to $50 million on his deal and won’t become a free agent until 2020 according to Spotrac. Drummond, however, has close to $52 million left with a player option in 2020. The money is identical and the production is close, it’s just a matter of which direction the Cavaliers are willing to go in.