Tony Dejak/Associated Press
While it was always seemingly a foregone conclusion that Andre Drummond would reach the buyout market, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly talked with the Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks about using his contract as a trade facilitator.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported Saturday the Cavs floated using Drummond’s salary to help a team land Kyle Lowry before Thursday’s deadline. Cleveland was similarly a facilitator in the Brooklyn Nets‘ trade for James Harden, as the Cavs landed Jarrett Allen and expedited Drummond’s departure.
The Raptors did not trade Lowry, and Drummond stayed put until he and the Cavaliers reached a buyout agreement.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith) reported Drummond met with the Boston Celtics on Friday. Boston traded Daniel Theis at the deadline, which could open up a role for Drummond in the starting lineup—albeit at the expense of Robert Williams III, who has emerged in recent weeks as a defensive force.
The Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, both in need of help in the middle, have long been viewed as the favorites for Drummond. Drummond would also likely get an extended starring role with the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out for weeks with injuries.
The decision will come down to what Drummond wants. Brooklyn and L.A. offer the best chances to win a championship, New York would provide perhaps the most consistent role, and Boston extends a blend of contender status and a solid starting job.