On NBA Trade Deadline day, Andre Drummond was moved from one struggling franchise to another
The NBA Trade Deadline is a trademark day of importance in the basketball world. The hours leading up to the clock hitting 3:00 p.m. EST are filled with drama, deception and, most importantly, blockbuster trades.
Andre Drummond has been a common topic whenever bringing up players potentially on the move. The Detroit Pistons are a team that has not found significant playoff success in over a decade. Since 2009, Detroit has only made the playoffs three times. Each of those times they barely got into the 8th seed and lost in the first round in all three.
The Pistons now seem to finally be embracing a full rebuild of their team. Drummond has been the lone “star” of this squad for years and they have now gotten rid of him and his large contract in exchange for just Brandon Knight, Jon Henson, and a 2023 second-round pick.
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Even though Drummond is a quality player, his contract (which many agree is a bit of an overpay) is what we might look to in order to explain the underwhelming compensation sent over by Cleveland. Drummond’s style of play obviously has not translated into winning for the Pistons and his value is not as high as Detroit might hope.
Now let’s talk about the Cleveland side of this trade. A franchise that has sputtered since the departure of LeBron James is in it’s beginning stages of what they hope will be a successful rebuild. They are looking to build around the young backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland but are hitting some curbs along the way.
As many saw in the viral game footage against the Thunder, Kevin Love showed an exceptional amount of frustration with his teammates and their style of play. Love is not taking that veteran leadership role with much enthusiasm and it is creating a strange atmosphere with the team, one that does not seem to be ideal for the development of the young guard duo.
This trade is one that can hopefully give the young team another solid veteran presence in order to compete in a more effective way. I have always been a believer in the need for a locker room leader in a young team that hasn’t quite established an identity yet. If Drummond can be that presence and lead personality, this trade will absolutely be worth it even with the absorption of his contract.
Drummond’s playstyle should work well with the Cavs if he is willing to possibly get a lesser number of touches per game. Cleveland’s focus is gonna be on getting as much in-game exposure for Sexton and Garland as ball handlers and scorers. Drummond should be a nice rim runner and rebounder to play alongside them.
Drummond’s defensive presence is a need for the Cleveland team. Their defense has been pretty atrocious this year with the team ranking 29th in defensive rating and 30th in points allowed in the paint. The Cavs interior defense will be more respected by opponents looking to drive into the lane.
Drummond has the stats to effectively contribute, averaging about 18 points per game and leading the league in rebounds per game (15.8) in addition to being 9th in blocks (1.7 per game). Cleveland has not exactly been a free agent hot spot beside the obvious exception of hometown hero LeBron James so that guaranteed money is not really taking away from any future Cavs free-agent classes.
Cleveland is making moves in hope to better its young core and although this trade may end up ineffective towards winning more games immediately, I believe it’s a good move in investing for the future and that’s all Cavs fans can ask for.