Nets Could Lose Prized Free Agent to Eastern Conference Rival: Report

Andre Drummond, Bruce Brown

Getty Andre Drummond and Bruce Brown of the Nets try to wrestle the ball away from Evan Mobley of the Cavaliers.

The centerpieces surrounding the blockbuster trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers on February 10 were multi-time NBA All-Stars Ben Simmons and James Harden. However, the Nets pot proved to be a lot sweeter with the additions of key role players in Seth Curry and Andre Drummond as a part of the deal. This was particularly true for Drummond who averaged 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds for the Nets in 24 games last season. Drummond’s showing with the Nets last season is sure to gauge the interest of several teams once he hits the free-agent market on July 1. According to Alex Schiffer of “The Athletic”, Drummond could reunite with the Sixers this offseason if the opportunity presents itself.

“The Sixers missed Drummond after the trade and the 6-foot-11 center remains tight with Doc Rivers, who has known him since he was a teenager. The two still talk frequently. Now that Rivers is slated to return as Philadelphia’s coach next year, Drummond could reunite with him if that’s his preference and the money is the same,” Schiffer Writes for “The Athletic”.

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Nets Lack of Cap Flexibility Makes Re-signing Drummond Difficult

Schiffer also notes that there are situations where the Nets would be able to keep Drummond. But it would cost them a lot of money. And with Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving all scheduled to make max money next season, the Nets do not have the cap flexibility that other teams do.

“He came over from Philly in the Ben Simmons trade and immediately helped on the boards, which was a season-long problem for the Nets. Drummond made $2.4 million this past season on the veteran’s minimum and has played on the minimum the past few seasons. But is he worth the exception of roughly $7 million?” Schiffer continued.

“If the Nets can get him back on the minimum, a return makes sense. Drummond is just 28 and fills a need, despite his limitations, but doesn’t take much for a team to offer him more than the Nets can afford, even if it’s just a couple million. The flexibility most teams have that the Nets don’t is why he’s picked to not return.”

Drummond Hinted at Departure From Nets Earlier This Season

If Drummond does decide to depart from Brooklyn during the offseason, it shouldn’t surprise Nets fans. Earlier this season, Drummond hinted at a potential exit from the team in free agency when discussing trade rumors about Nets center Nic Claxton.

“If we’re all being honest, I’m only here until the rest of the season. Who knows what’s gonna happen in the off-season? So, they need a guy like (Nic),” Drummond said to Kristian Winfield of the “New York Daily News” on March 23.

“I think that we need him, we need him. I think he’s very, very beneficial for this team. He’s young still, a guy that can come in and help, can start, come off the bench. He can do a little bit of everything. With a guy like that’s so versatile, why would you trade somebody like that?”

Drummond turned out to be a key player for the Nets after the James Harden trade. Whether they bring him back or not will be critical to their title hopes.

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