By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Center Andre Drummond’s uncertain future with the Cleveland Cavaliers has the Boston Celtics on high alert, according to a report from Forbes’ Evan Dammarell.
Staring at a $28.7 million player option this offseason, and in an obviously-limited market from a financial standpoint and with big men looked at a bit differently these days, the 27-year-old Drummond seems locked into a 2020-21 start with Cleveland. Beyond that, however, is anybody’s guess, with talks about a long-term future in The Land completely up in the air.
The latter, again, is what’s certainly getting the Celtics’ ears up.
“If things don’t get better it becomes even easier to flip Drummond and his mammoth expiring contract to another team to recoup assets to assist in their rebuild,” Dammarell wrote. “Teams like the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers all make sense as trade destinations for Drummond and according to sources, the Celtics are monitoring the situation.”
Now, while it’s a fine idea, the truth is that if that were to happen, the Celtics’ only real play to acquire Drummond in a two-team trade would be to send Gordon Hayward (likely to pick up his player option) to the Cavaliers. Not even the finest combination of the Marcus Smart contract and the Celtics’ roleplayers and bench pieces would be enough to swing a deal for Drummond. (And even if that worked, would it really be worth it for Danny Ainge & Co.? It seems doubtful.)
But the Celtics have been linked to Drummond in the past, and the Celtics’ need to upgrade their frontcourt with some force may be on Ainge’s mind after seeing how the Heat’s Bam Adebayo overwhelmed Boston in the third round.
Drummond would be a definite boost, too, averaging 17.7 points and 15.2 rebounds per night in a 57-game campaign split between the Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons last year. Overall, it was Drummond’s seventh straight season averaging a double-double, while his aforementioned 17.7 points per game were a career-high.
And as mentioned, it’s believed that the 6-foot-10 big is indeed going to pick up his player option for 2020-21, though he opted not to tip his hand (or discuss his talks regarding an extension) during a conversation with Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor.
“As of right now I’m just focusing on what I can worry about,” Drummond told Fedor. “Working on my game. Right now, just worrying about what’s happening with the next couple of months, before the season. Whenever it’s time to start, and when that time does come to make that decision, everybody will know.
“Right now, I’m a Cleveland Cavalier. In terms of extending, we will find that out when the time comes around.”
The Celtics, meanwhile, enter the offseason with three centers signed for 2020-21 in Daniel Theis (team option), Robert Williams (team option), and Vincent Poirier. The group’s most experienced center, Enes Kanter, has a $5 million player option.