The Miami Heat might be out of the Bradley Beal sweepstakes, but the franchise could look to beef up their presence inside the paint instead. The Cleveland Cavaliers are benching All-Star center Andre Drummond in the hopes of striking a trade with a contending team.
The Heat, fresh off a 125-118 loss, are treading water in the Eastern Conference as it becomes more and more apparent they need to make a move. Jimmy Butler can’t be the one-man show in Miami if they expect to get back to the NBA Finals. And Drummond’s name has emerged as an intriguing piece to pair alongside fellow All-Star big man Bam Adebayo. Of course, there are many obstacles to overcome in getting Drummond to South Beach.
For starters, Drummond’s contract is equally as bad (maybe worse) than Blake Griffin’s number in Detroit. The Cavaliers would likely have to buy him out and let him hit free agency. Miami has a $3.6 million cap exception they could use on Drummond, but the Brooklyn Nets could outbid them due to the $5.7 million injury exception for Spencer Dinwiddie.
Drummond is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 28.9 minutes per game for Cleveland, a place he wasn’t enthused about going to in the first place. The Cavaliers are rebuilding and moving on with Jarrett Allen as their starting center. They are trying to be fair to Drummond, per J.B. Bickerstaff, and find him a better situation.
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Is Drummond Trade Option for Heat?
There is no guarantee the Cavaliers will absorb Drummond’s massive contract. The team will first try and gauge his trade value on the open market. The Toronto Raptors had been heavily linked to acquiring the 27-year-old center, although no talks were deemed serious at this point.
The Heat would at a huge disadvantage in a trade scenario since they lack the high draft picks Cleveland will be looking for in return. The Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman proposed “some sort of combination” of the expiring salaries of Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard.
One other option would be swapping Kendrick Nunn straight up for Drummond. However, the Heat would probably want assurance the two-time All-Star was going to sign a long-term contract extension in Miami before pulling the trigger. Remember, Nunn was runner-up for NBA Rookie of the Year last year.
Draymond Green Sounds Off on Situation
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has seen and heard enough. He’s sick and tired of the way NBA franchises treat star players. Green took one question during his post-game media availability on Monday night and devoted it entirely to an alarming “double standard” he’s seen around the league. He doesn’t think it’s right for Cleveland to sit Drummond even if they want to transition to Allen.
“I would like to talk about something that’s really bothering me,” Green told reporters, via ESPN. “And it’s the treatment of players in this league. To watch Andre Drummond, before the game, sit on the sidelines, then go to the back, and to come out in street clothes because a team is going to trade him, it’s bulls—.”
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