According to a recently published list of trade ideas, the Charlotte Hornets could potentially acquire Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond for two of their key rotation players and two future second-round picks.
As explained by Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network, Drummond performed well for the Detroit Pistons and the Cavaliers in the 2019-20 campaign, though at this point in his career, many teams appear to have “given up” on him and he may not be part of the Cavs’ future plans as they focus on their younger players while rebuilding. Following his decision to opt into the final year of his contract, which will pay him $28.8 million in 2020-21, Drummond will become eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer and, as rumors have suggested, might not be moved until closer to this season’s trade deadline.
In the first of three ideas he proposed, Siegel recommended that the Hornets could improve their chances of making the playoffs by getting Drummond for a package including point guard Terry Rozier, center Cody Zeller, and second-round picks from the 2021 and 2023 drafts. He explained that trading Rozier would be a beneficial move for Charlotte, given how they selected LaMelo Ball — who plays the same position as he does — at No. 3 overall in the recently concluded 2020 NBA Draft. The 26-year-old’s rumored unhappiness with the team was also mentioned as another factor why he might not last much longer with the Hornets.
As for Zeller, the veteran was described as a reliable presence in the middle who has improved through the years, but not the same rebounder, defender, or scorer that Drummond is.
“Andre Drummond also fits the mold the Charlotte Hornets like to have in their big men. Over the years, the Hornets have played a more traditional style of offense using their big guys in the low-post and more of a rebounding threat than a scoring threat, which would make Drummond even better,” Siegel added.
In addition, the NBA Analysis Network writer noted that Drummond could combine with second-round pick Vernon Carey to address the Hornets’ weakness in the low post, thus allowing more opportunities on offense for last year’s breakout star, Devonte’ Graham, and recent free-agent acquisition Gordon Hayward.
The Hornets are not the only team that has been linked to Drummond in the offseason, as the Dallas Mavericks have also been mentioned as a club that could pursue him in the trade market. One proposed transaction from last month suggested that the Mavericks could land him for a package centered on big men Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber and guard Delon Wright.