“The Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer planning to play center Andre Drummond as they work to trade the two-time All-Star prior to the NBA’s March 25th deadline, sources told ESPN,” Woj said via his Twitter account.
Nets Looking To Acquire Drummond via Buyout
The Nets are still reaping the benefits of the James Harden trade. Part of the reason that the Cavaliers are shopping Drummond is because of their acquisition of stud center Jarrett Allen from the Nets via the Harden trade. If that somehow results in Drummond landing in Brooklyn, too, it will be a very big bonus for the Nets.
While Woj insists that the Cavs are still gauging the market for Drummond, Shams Charania reports that the Cavs and Toronto Raptors have already begun trade talks surrounding the All-Star Center.
Shams also reports that the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks are expected to be suitors for the star center via Hoop Central. On the season Drummond is averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game.
Drummond’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, tells Woj that the All-Star center is still in his prime and will be an upgrade for whatever team that he is traded to. “Whichever direction this goes, Andre is 27, in his prime, and I believe strongly that he has a great deal to add to a team building toward a postseason run,” Woj tweeted on Monday.
Drummond would be a significant upgrade for the Nets on the defensive side of the ball. The Nets are amongst the worst teams in defensive rating. They are ahead of only the Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings in terms of points allowed. Brooklyn is allowing opponents to score 117.5 points per game.
Nets Need To Upgrade Defense Before Trade Deadline
The Nets being a liability on the defensive side of the ball is no secret, around the league. Two-time NBA champion Vernon Maxwell thinks that it will be the only thing that stops the Nets from winning the title this year.
“I think Philly is a good threat to Brooklyn but, I don’t think they can beat Brooklyn. It’s gonna be tough for somebody to beat Brooklyn in a seven-game series, too, now,” Maxwell told Scoop B on a recent episode of Scoop B Radio.
“They still got to play some damn defense, man. You can’t be got damn shooting all the time I mean c’mon man, scoring 140 points and losing and sh**? I mean, good God! That sh**’s crazy man. You got to play some kind of defense.”
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Nets head coach Steve Nash also realizes that the Nets roster as currently constructed isn’t built to play defense.
“We’re just got to find a way to play harder, dig deeper. We’re not a defensive roster,” Nash told reporters earlier this season via Nets Wire. “We have to take more pride in it, and we have to win more 50-50s, contest more shots, fight, scrap, claw — that’s what I think is missing as much as anything schematic that we’re breaking down.”
As explosive as the Nets offense is, as long as their defense is subpar, they will always look suspect as championship contenders. Drummond could help solve a lot of their woes on the defensive end. If they can make even the slightest upgrade on defense, the Nets will be in line for the championship.