The Toronto Raptors have entered discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers about potentially acquiring center Andre Drummond, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Cleveland is reportedly actively looking to move Drummond before the March 25 trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the team is no longer planning to play the coveted big man. Wojnarowski also reported that at this time the Cavaliers are not engaged in serious talks with any team.
Although the Cavaliers are reportedly seeking to trade Drummond and receive a sizeable return on investment, any potential deal involving the two-time All-Star may take some time to develop. Drummond's $28.7M salary for the 2021 season is a point of contention and it would take clever accounting for the Raptors to be able to match his salary in a trade. Norman Powell ($10.87M cap hit) is often suggested as a potential option, but he would just be one of several pieces the Raptors would have to move in a potential deal.
Reporting with @WindhorstESPN: 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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 15, 2021
Charania reports that the Raptors are far from the only team in the mix as the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks are also interested in acquiring Drummond, if the remainder of his contract is bought out by the Cavaliers. Cleveland, unsurprisingly, prefers to trade Drummond as opposed to buying him out.
Drummond is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2021 season.
The 27-year-old is averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, but is shooting just 47.4 percent from the field, the worst percentage of his career, a worrisome figure for someone who relies almost exclusively on easy buckets near the rim. Drummond, however, would be a major upgrade over Toronto's current options at center, notably Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher. Boucher is way less expensive and is rapidly improving with more playing time, and is a significantly better outside shooter than Drummond.
For the time being, it doesn't appear that a trade is imminent but the Raptors are reportedly looking to improve upon one of its glaring weaknesses in 2021.
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