Since the Cavs benched the 27-year old, and it became clear he was not part of their long-term plans, interest has grown around the league for the 4-time rebounding leader. As 6 weeks have almost passed, that interest has not waned, though the Cavaliers' likelihood of getting a trade deal passed through for Drummond has.
Even the Boston Celtics, who need support in the paint and have a player exception of $28.5m, would find it difficult to make the salaries match in any deal. On top of that, Andre Drummond is somebody who could demand a mighty contract when he becomes a free agent in the offseason.
It has become increasingly likely, therefore, that we will see Drummond end up on the buyout market after the NBA trade deadline. We have thus decided to put together the top 3 destinations for Drummond should a buyout occur.
Top 3 destinations for Andre Drummond in the NBA buyout market
Over the last three seasons, Andre Drummond has been one of the most consistent and underrated centers in the league. After playing in Detroit for 7 and a half seasons and being named an All-Star twice, now may be the time that his performances are recognized and give him the opportunity to compete for a ring.
Most teams in the league who require a center have been interested in Andre Drummond, two of whom are already set to make a championship run. Let's take a look at who these teams are and one other franchise that could have an outside chance at landing Drummond in the buyout market.
#1 LA Lakers
It is no surprise to see the reigning champions atop our list of those most likely to land Andre Drummond in the buyout market.
Jake Fischer of 'Bleacher Report' recently discussed in a report that NBA execs see the Lakers as favorites to land Andre Drummond in a buyout market they wholly expect him to end up in. With a starting berth pretty much guaranteed, as well as the chance to go on a deep playoff run, it is difficult to see a scenario in which the LA Lakers do not move for the Cavs big man.
It is no surprise to say that the LA Lakers need help in the paint. Put aside the fact that Anthony Davis has been out injured, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell aren't the rim-running centers the champions were used to last year in McGee and Howard.
Although Andre Drummond's defensive effort could improve, he is a monster at rebounding the ball, averaging 13.8 a night throughout his career and 13.5 this season. His steal and block numbers combined are also higher than both Harrell and Gasol's (1.6 and 1.2 per game). H can also be the Lakers' third scoring option on offense, getting 17.5 points per matchup.
#2 Brooklyn Nets
When Jarrett Allen was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was to replace Andre Drummond and now, ironically, it could be Drummond who makes his way to Brooklyn to fill Allen's former role.
Not far behind the Lakers to land Andre Drummond in the buyout market are the Brooklyn Nets, and why not? They have put together one of the most exhilarating offenses the league has ever seen and have an open vacancy at the 5.
Steve Nash's side are primed for a Conference Finals appearance at least, if not making it all the way to a championship. Their team has all the attributes to make it there except for an athletic big man who has experience and shot-making ability. While DeAndre Jordan has been a viable option, he was always a back-up center to Jarrett Allen prior to the season.
With an array of options available to Drummond should he end up in the buyout market, it will be a tough decision to choose between the Nets and Lakers.
#3 Dallas Mavericks
Beyond the Lakers and Nets, the Dallas Mavericks could prove another great option for Andre Drummond in the buyout market and a realistic long-term move.
To keep Drummond after the offseason, any team will likely have to cough up a significant contract for his services. Dallas possesses two of the league's most exciting young stars and could move roster assets to make room for his salary. They are a franchise moving in the right direction and want to make use of the limited time they may have with a happy Luka Doncic.
Mark Cuban will have to work his magic to lure Andre Drummond over to the Mavs, however, with the Lakers and Nets lurking. Playing Drummond and Porzingis in the same starting lineup could prove troublesome for the Mavericks on both ends of the court, but it is undeniable that they need a third reliable scorer. Furthermore, Drummond is somebody who hasn't struggled with injuries as Porzingis has.