The Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Andre Drummond last season with the hope that pairing him with Kevin Love could make them a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, as of now, the Cavaliers are struggling to win games and remain one of the worst teams in the league. Without a clear path to title contention, Cleveland reportedly could explore moving Drummond once again before the 2021 trade deadline.
Rumors surrounding Drummond's future in Cleveland heated up when it acquired Jarrett Allen in the four-team blockbuster deal also involving the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, and the Indiana Pacers. With the arrival of a younger and cheaper starting-caliber center on their team, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype believes that it's becoming more likely that Drummond may no longer finish the 2020-21 season with the Cavaliers.
"Multiple Eastern Conference executives believe the writing is on the wall for Drummond's future in Cleveland after the team gave up a first-round pick to acquire Allen, who is five years younger. Drummond will become an unrestricted free agent after the season."One league executive who confidentially spoke to Scotto said that Drummond "is definitely out of Cleveland," adding that the team wouldn't be giving up a future first-round pick in the deal if they don't intend to keep Allen long-term on their roster. Choosing Allen over Drummond is arguably a no-brainer for the Cavaliers.
At 22, Allen is a much better fit with the timeline of Cleveland's young core, which includes the likes of Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro, and Larry Nance Jr. Though both of them could enter the free agency market in the 2021 offseason, it would likely be easier for the Cavaliers to retain Allen since he is set to become a restricted free agent. If other interested teams decide to pursue him, the only thing they need to do to bring him back is to match their offer.
Drummond may be currently considered as the odd man out in Cleveland. But if he becomes officially available on the trading block, he's expected to receive plenty of interest from teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost and additional star power. Though he has yet to unlock his three-point shooting skills, he remains a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a monster rebounder, and a quality rim protector. This season, he's averaging 18 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.6 steals while shooting 46.7 percent from the field, per ESPN.
If he becomes consistent with his performance and stays away from major injuries, the Cavaliers could get a good return in the potential deal involving Drummond. Some of his potential suitors this season might include the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, and the Charlotte Hornets.