The Cleveland Cavaliers are thrilled after acquiring center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons this week.
They just aren’t yet sure how long he’ll remain in Cleveland.
Drummond is in the fourth year of a five-year, $127 million deal, and holds a player option for next season. Should the rest of this season not go well for the 26-year-old, he can make a move for free agency.
Though general manager Koby Altman hasn’t yet spoken with Drummond about any long-term plans, he’s more than hopeful that he sticks around next year.
“For us, I think in terms of his age and what he brings to our team, absolutely we consider him a potential long-term play,” Altman said on a conference call Friday, via ESPN. “Obviously he has a player option that, if he picks up, we think we're in good shape in terms of our cap space. There's no better money spent than Andre Drummond if he does pick up his player option.
“So I think with the player option or not, we have flexibility and optionality moving forward, but I think these next 30 games or so, he's really going to enjoy playing with our guards and Kevin Love as well, and we'll see.”
Drummond averaged a career-high 17.8 points and 15.8 rebounds with the Pistons this year. The Cavaliers sent Detroit Brandon Knight, John Henson and a first-round draft pick in the trade.
Pistons, Cavs understand Drummond’s frustration
Shortly after the news of the trade broke, Drummond took to social media.
If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty. I’ve given my heart and soul to the Pistons , and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realize even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit...— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) February 6, 2020
Cont... you will always have a special place in my heart! But on to the next @cavs hope your ready! Let’s finish the year off the right way 🦋— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) February 6, 2020
Given that he’s spent all eight years he’s been in the league with the Detroit Pistons, it’s easy to understand why.
While Pistons senior advisor of basketball operations Ed Stefanski said the decision to move Drummond wasn’t easy, he stood by it.
"We're a copycat league, and right now the center position is not as valuable as it once was,” Stefanski said, via ESPN. “I'm not saying that's about Dre, but that's just reality of what's happening right now. Regarding Dre's comments, the worst thing in the world is having to trade someone who's been here.
"This is the only place he's been. Emotions are raw. Dre knew he was in trade talks, and I was talking to his representatives about different things. Cleveland came in late, but I guess you'll have to talk to Dre about what exactly he means."
Altman understood Drummond’s frustration, too. But after what he’s done so far this season, he believes Drummond can fit right in in Cleveland.
"Of course it's going to be a shock when you get traded away from a team that you've been with for a very long time,” Altman said, via ESPN. “But this is a new opportunity for him and I think it motivated Andre Drummond even more so than what he has been doing, which has been incredible."
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