‘He’s Not Worth the Effort,’ Says Bulls Analyst

Getty Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin

Will the Chicago Bulls be active in the trade market over the next month?

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly committed to trading two-time NBA All-Star and four-time rebounding champion Andre Drummond. According to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, the Cavs have benched Drummond to preserve him for a trade.

Whenever prominent names like Drummond (who is just 27 years old) become available, there are some questions about the player landing with just about any team with an opening at his position. The Bulls are anything but set in the middle.

Could the Bulls be in on a trade for Drummond ahead of the upcoming NBA trade deadline on March 25?

Longtime Bulls analyst Sam Smith says no rather emphatically on Drummond and his former teammate Blake Griffin. 

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Sam Smith: ‘He’s Not Worth the Effort’

A reader asked Smith if the Bulls would explore a trade for Drummond by one of his readers. Smith seems to think Drummond is more likely to land with the Brooklyn Nets.

Here was Smith’s response related to the Bulls via his mailbag.

Drummond long has been regarded as only somewhat interested in basketball. He produces amazing numbers, but they rarely translate into energetic play. He’d be ideal with superstars, however. The only way to match salaries would be trading Otto Porter, and I doubt the Cavs need him in their trainers’ room. Young and Satoransky? No. Drummond is a free agent this summer, but regarding the Bulls the most important element is it would take playing time from Wendell Carter, who has played well in his return and seems healthy again. New management still is about analysis and evaluation of their players. Drummond doesn’t have any history, anyway, of elevating average teams. He’s not worth the effort.

It’s hard to argue with anything Smith said in his spiel, but there could be some holes in his assessment of Wendell Carter Jr.

The Bulls’ Void in the Middle

Judging by how the Bulls have been manhandled at times this season by some of the league’s top centers, you could say they are without a long-term solution in the middle.

Most recently, the Philadelphia 76ers’ all-world center Joel Embiid lit the Bulls up for a career-high 50 points last week, and if we’re honest, WCJ looked helpless every time he attempted to guard the Sixers’ MVP candidate. 

Let’s not get it twisted, Embiid is one of the best players in the league, but WCJ looked overmatched physically and from a skill standpoint. When that’s the case, you have to wonder if the guy you have in that position is someone you can accept as the player you need when you’re good enough to contend.

Drummond isn’t on Embiid’s level overall, but the latter hasn’t destroyed the sometimes sleepy big man when he has matched up against him. The two men have played against each other seven times in the NBA. Embiid and the 76ers have won six of those games, and he has been stellar (27.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.9 spg, and 1.6 bpg on 53% shooting from the field).

Drummond has managed 15.4 ppg, 12 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.1 spg, 1.1 bpg on 53% shooting. Embiid has scored well, but he has had to work much harder against Drummond than he did against WCJ, Luke Kornet, and Daniel Gafford. If I’m the Bulls, I’m not parting ways with anyone besides Otto Porter Jr. and a draft asset, but it’s hard not to see Drummond as an upgrade over WCJ.

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