Andre Drummond was openly unhappy after the Detroit Pistons traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers back in February, but that seemingly had more to do with the way his former team handled the situation than anything else. Now that Drummond has spent a few months as a member of the Cavs, he may be enjoying himself enough to stick around for the long haul.
Drummond announced earlier this week that he will exercise his $28.75 million option for the 2020-21 season, which was expected given all the uncertainty surrounding sports at the moment. However, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports that Drummond and the Cavs have both shown interest in working out a long-term contract extension.
One potential complication could arise if the Cavaliers find themselves in position to draft former Memphis star center James Wiseman. As Fedor notes, Cleveland may prefer having more flexibility for the future rather than give Drummond a max contract extension if they’re drafting his eventual replacement. Drummond and Wiseman also share the same agent, which could potentially make the situation even more complicated.
Drummond is still just 26, and the Cavs haven’t seen a whole lot of him. He appeared in eight games for Cleveland before the season was suspended, averaging 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Drummond will be able to sign an extension with the Cavs in October, but it may make more sense for them to see how things play out next season.
While the Cavs have just 19 wins this season and won 19 games all of last year, Drummond seemed more bothered by the way the Pistons handled the trade than he was about being sent to a struggling franchise. Depending upon how the market shakes out with all the financial uncertainty surrounding sports leagues, Drummond may find that he wants to remain in Cleveland more than the Cavs want him to stick around.
Andre Drummond is in a much more fortunate financial place than most people, and he is doing his part to spread the love.
Drummond was lauded on social media for leaving a $1,000 tip at a Delray Beach restaurant in Florida over the weekend.
Che, the restaurant, shared a photo on Instagram of Drummond’s receipt, which showed a $1,000 tip on a $164.25 check. The restaurant then shared comments from the server, Kassandra Diaz, who benefited from the tip.
“Today, started off as slow day at work getting there for my double shift. The past week, overall, has been pretty slow of course due to COVID. Restaurants and staff have been struggling, as you can imagine. Little did I know that today I would get a tip no server would guess that they would ever receive when they open that check book. Unknowingly, I was seated and served a table with @andredrummondd I had no idea who he was, and hadn’t seen him here before but we @che.delray always welcome our new customers. When I was given the checkbook, I went to put in the tip & information to close the table and I couldn’t believe it. From a $160 check, the tip read $1,000. I was shaking and had tears of happiness after what he left me. I had no idea how to react, I didn’t want to draw attention but at the same time I couldn’t describe the the amount of appreciation I had/ have. It’s so amazing to see people displaying acts of kindness in these uncertain times. This is a story I will never forget, thank you again so much @andredrummondd,” Diaz said, according to the restaurant.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the restaurant’s general manager says the server can keep the entire tip. She was so stunned by it that she even went back to double check with Drummond that the tip was correct.
Drummond wrote in response on Instagram “thank you for being amazing” and “thank you for the hospitality” to the server and restaurant.
The NBA may not be able to resume its season in as timely a fashion as it originally hoped, but the league is planning an event that will hopefully give basketball fans something to look forward to.
The NBA is organizing a players-only tournament for the video game “NBA 2K20” that will feature some of the league’s best gamers, including Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell. Sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that the 16-player tournament will be broadcast on ESPN and span over 10 days. The goal is for the event to launch on Friday.
Other players taking part in the tournament include DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond. The league is still finalizing the details.
The White House recently extended its social distancing guidelines through April 30, and many states have issued “shelter-in-place” orders as the coronavirus continues to spread. It seems unlikely that the NBA or any other sports league will resume play before June, which is why we have seen leagues exploring other ways to keep fans entertained. A video game tournament is certainly better than nothing.
The first step to solving any problem is identifying that there is, in fact, a problem. The Detroit Pistons recognized their roster was not set up for long-term success and attempted to remedy the situation in February by trading away their franchise mainstay, Andre Drummond, which signaled the beginning of a rebuild. The initial reaction around the league after the Pistons traded Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a second-round draft was one of bewilderment.
There was no confusion as to why the Pistons would trade Drummond; in his first seven seasons with the Pistons, the team never advanced past the first round of the playoffs. The puzzling part of the trade was that on the open market, the two-time All-Star, and three-time rebounding champion, was worth no more than a single second-round pick and two journeymen veterans on contracts that made the finances of the deal work.
Drummond’s lack of trade value furthers the ideology of the limited impact that a traditional paint-bound center can have in the modern NBA. Post-up, rebounding centers, like Drummond, were once thought of as the necessary ingredient in any championship recipe. 2,495 3-pointers later, Chef Curry has cooked up a new recipe for success. The analytics approach to basketball has led to more spacing and, subsequently, more 3-point shots. The Pistons recognized that they would never become an elite offense with Drummond as their fulcrum.
Trading Drummond not only represented a stylistic overhaul for the Pistons but also conveyed their willingness to escape the self-induced purgatory they have been stuck in for the entirety of the Drummond era. By trading Drummond, the Pistons ensured that he could not pick up his player option this summer, worth approximately $28 million. But the trade was not solely predicated on finances, as it was not long ago when the Pistons believed that they could construct a contending roster around Drummond.
To properly understand why the Pistons were willing to part with Drummond for such an insignificant return, it is paramount to examine the 2018 blockbuster trade in which the Pistons acquired Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers.
“We never had a problem,” he said of his Philadelphia 76ers counterpart. “It’s basketball, I talk a lot of trash. He does it on social media, I do it in the game.”
The supposed beef dates back to Drummond’s time with Detroit, most notably a 2018 game against Embiid and the Sixers that saw Drummond get ejected and Embiid then brag about owning “a lot of real estate” in his head.
Andre Drummond is not happy about being traded by the Detroit Pistons without warning.
Drummond was dealt by Detroit to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, just before the trade deadline. He sent a few tweets after the deal went through and complained about the lack of “friends or loyalty” in the league. Mostly, he seemed upset about not having a heads up about the trade.
If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty. I’ve given my heart and soul to the Pistons , and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realize even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit…
Teams handle trade talks differently. Some executives work with their players and keep them informed about trade talks and possible moves as a professional courtesy. Some keep things quiet in case a deal does not go through. Maybe that’s why the Pistons didn’t loop Drummond in.
Drummond does seem excited about teaming with Kevin Love in Cleveland though.
Drummond had been linked to a number of contending teams ahead of Thursday’s deadline, and the Cavs certainly don’t fit that bill with their record of 13-39. They obviously are not acquiring Drummond with the intention of making a playoff run, so they must believe they can re-sign him this summer and build around him going forward.
Drummond is averaging a career-high 17.8 points to go along with 15.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The Pistons had discussions about him with several teams, and it makes sense that they are getting what they can for him now if they don’t believe he wanted to re-sign with them after the season. However, it’s unclear if the Cavs will have a good shot at re-signing Drummond if he wants to play for a contender.