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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Cleveland Cavaliers

Andre Drummond, Cavaliers agree to contract buyout

Andre Drummond

The Cleveland Cavaliers were unable to trade Andre Drummond prior to Thursday’s deadline, but the two sides are still parting ways.

Drummond and the Cavs have agreed to a contract buyout, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. That means the 6-foot-10 center will be free to sign with any team he pleases.

Drummond should draw plenty of interest. He is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game this season and is just 27. It’s possible that he could get a multi-year deal, which is rare for players who have their contracts bought out.

We know the New York Knicks are in a great position to sign Drummond, but the big man may have to decide between money and playing for a contender down the stretch. If he prioritizes winning a title, we probably know which team is the favorite to land him.

JB Bickerstaff reacts to criticism of handling of Andre Drummond

JB Bickerstaff

Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff is taking a measured approach to a wave of criticism over his team’s handling of center Andre Drummond.

The Cavaliers have decided not to play Drummond while the team tries to trade the veteran center, who is in the final year of his contract. This event inspired Draymond Green to criticize a double standard where he feels teams can get away with behavior that individual players cannot, a stance backed by LeBron James.

Bickerstaff refused to criticize Green for the remarks, instead taking the criticism in stride.

“Nobody’s opinion should be muted,” Bickerstaff said Wednesday, via ESPN. “Obviously there’s conversations that we’ve had with our guys as far as this process goes that everybody’s not privy to. But again, guys have a right to speak their voice and organizations have to do what’s best for the organization. I think that’s kind of how it works and it shouldn’t be a two-way street, so to speak.”

Bickerstaff also praised Drummond for his professionalism in handling the situation.

Bickerstaff is in an awkward spot here, as he doesn’t want to come off as opposing the players. As he said, we don’t really have a perfect idea of how the Cavaliers have handled this internally.

One thing is for sure: Cleveland will have a hard time dealing Drummond if this is what most teams think of him.

Report: Cavs committed to trading Andre Drummond, possibly to this team

Andre Drummond

The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled Andre Drummond from Sunday’s lineup and attributed it to giving the big man rest, but it sounds like Drummond may have played his final game with the franchise.

The Cavs are working to trade Drummond and have committed to not playing him again, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst. Cleveland general manager Koby Altman discussed the situation with Drummond and his agent Jeff Schwartz and the two sides arrived at the decision together.

Drummond is playing on a $28.7 million expiring contract, so trading him will not be easy due to NBA rules with matching salaries. Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers are gauging the market for Drummond but have not had serious discussions with any team. Cleveland has not entertained the idea of a contract buyout.

The Toronto Raptors are one team that has been mentioned as a potential Drummond suitor. Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed that on Monday, citing sources who say the Cavaliers and Raptors have been engaged in active talks about a deal that would send Drummond to Toronto.

Charania also reported that Drummond was pulled from the lineup before Sunday’s game in part because of his “attitude and play” recently.

Drummond is having a solid season with 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He has also been linked to one other Eastern Conference contender. We can expect trade talks to heat up in the coming days.

Kevin Porter Jr. traded by Cavs to Rockets following outburst

Kevin Porter

The Cleveland Cavaliers made good on their plans to trade Kevin Porter Jr. following a locker room outburst.

Porter Jr. has been traded to the Houston Rockets for a future protected second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Porter, 20, was the No. 30 overall pick in 2019. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a rookie last year, but has had numerous off-court issues.

Porter was arrested in November on suspicion of possessing a gun and marijuana following a one-car accident. The charges were later dismissed. He was also accused of punching a woman in the face in a separate incident, which you can read about here.

The Cavaliers were trying to help Porter take care of off-court issues this season, which is why he had not played. But he had an outburst in the team locker room after learning his locker had been given to a newly acquired player. The Cavs began plans to move Porter after that.

Porter was also suspended two games for conduct issues as a freshman at USC.

Kevin Porter Jr. expected to be traded or released by Cavs following outburst

Kevin Porter

Kevin Porter Jr. has not played this season due to personal reasons, and it sounds like his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers is coming to an end.

Porter is expected to be traded or released by the Cavs after he had an outburst in the locker room on Friday, according to a report from The Athletic. The 20-year-old reportedly became irate when he entered the locker room and realized his old locker had been given to Taurean Prince, whom the Cavaliers acquired in a trade on Wednesday.

When Porter saw his locker had been moved closer to the younger players and bench players, he began yelling and at one point threw food. Sources told The Athletic that general manager Koby Altman came into the locker room to confront Porter, who “remained combative.” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff heard the commotion from his office and was “shocked and disgusted” when he entered the locker room.

The Cavaliers spent the weekend trying to trade Porter, though it does not sound like they have any takers yet.

Porter was on the bench for Friday night’s game against the New York Knicks, which was the first time he was with the Cavaliers for a game this season. Bickerstaff said Porter was not at practice on Monday.

Porter was arrested back in November on suspicion of possessing a gun and marijuana following a one-car accident. The charges were later dismissed. He was also accused of punching a woman in the face in a separate incident, which you can read about here.

In his freshman season at USC, Porter was suspended for “conduct issues.” He missed two games.

Porter averaged 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game as a rookie last year. He may have trouble finding work due to his off-court issues.

Full details of huge James Harden to Nets trade

James Harden

The massive James Harden trade to the Brooklyn Nets became much larger than involving two teams and one player.

In the end, four teams, seven players, six draft picks, and four pick swaps were involved in the trade.

Here is a look at what each team received in the end.

Brooklyn Nets:
– James Harden

Houston Rockets:
– Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs
– 4 first-round picks (3 from the Nets 2022, 2024, 2026; and 1 from the Milwaukee Bucks via Cleveland 2022)
– 4 first-round pick swaps from the Nets (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027)

Indiana Pacers:
– Caris LeVert, second-round pick from Houston

Cleveland Cavaliers:
– Jarrett Allen
– Taurean Prince

The Cavs were able to sneak in and get Allen and Prince, which is a nice addition, all for trading a first-round pick from the Bucks. The Pacers were able to flip Oladipo, who wanted out, for LeVert, which is a nice replacement.

The Nets are the big winners because they get the MVP to pair with another MVP … and Kyrie Irving, if he ever decides to play again.

The Rockets were in a tough spot because Harden was forcing their hand. Although they get a lot of goodies on paper, you have to question what it will amount to. Oladipo could be gone after the season. The first-round picks from the Nets and Bucks will most likely be late in the draft, and least for the next few years, which would also make the pick swap rights useless. The Rockets could end up with very little to show for Harden in a few years.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Report: Andre Drummond, Cavs far apart in extension talks

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond’s marriage to the Cleveland Cavaliers could prove to be a brief one unless both sides can come to a middle ground.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported on Monday that Drummond and the Cavs have been far apart in preliminary extension talks. The two-time All-Star will be a free agent in 2021. He also has a $28.75 million player option this offseason but is all but certain to exercise it.

Drummond, 27, was acquired by the Cavs in a trade with the Detroit Pistons in February. He made only eight appearances for them before the NBA’s shutdown in March but had his usual production of 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.

Cleveland is rebuilding, and it remains to be seen how Drummond fits into their ultimate future. He is one of the league’s best rebounders but is limited offensively and can be played off the floor by opponents. Drummond also was upset that he got traded by Detroit, so he might not be too attached to Cleveland anyway.

Report: Cavaliers believe they have pieces for Ben Simmons trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the middle of another rebuilding phase, but they may be able to accelerate it very quickly with a trade for a young star.

According to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, the Cavaliers have interest in Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons, and believe they have enough pieces to interest Philadelphia in a potential trade. The Cavaliers will pick in the top six of the upcoming draft, and have also stockpiled assets on their roster that could interest the Sixers.

Fedor lists last year’s fifth overall pick Darius Garland as a possible piece that could interest Philadelphia.

It’s hard to say how realistic a Simmons trade is. There has been plenty of talk about his ability to coexist with Joel Embiid and the lack of success the Sixers have had with the two players as their centerpieces, even though Embiid has downplayed any tension. In addition, with Simmons unlikely to play again this season, there’s something of an excuse for the Sixers if they don’t go far in the postseason. It’s fair to ask whether Philadelphia would really want to trade Simmons at this point coming off an injury unless someone gives them a huge haul.

There has been talk in the past that some within the Philadelphia organization would be open to trading Simmons, but it’s never been realistically explored. Perhaps the Cavaliers are serious about trying to test the Sixers’ resolve.

Report: Andre Drummond, Cavs have mutual interest in extension

Andre Drummond

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.

Collin Sexton: Cavaliers will be back in playoffs next season

The Cleveland Cavaliers took the NBA by surprise at the trade deadline back in February when they decided to become buyers despite having no shot at postseason contention. Collin Sexton appreciated that approach from the team, and he is confident it is going to pay off in the very near future.

In a recent interview with Morten Jensen of Forbes, Sexton said he understands that things have been a lot different for the Cavs since LeBron James left to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the 21-year-old does not like to use the term “rebuild.”

“Every day we’ve got guys coming to work and working their butt off, so we don’t look at [the rebuild] too much, because we all put in that work and we have a full team of hard workers so we’re going to do whatever it takes to change it around, and turn this rebuild into winning,” Sexton said.

Rather than hold a fire sale at the trade deadline, the Cavs acquired star big man Andre Drummond in a trade with the Detroit Pistons and held onto Kevin Love. Drummond is set to become a free agent this summer and has not committed to re-signing with Cleveland, but Sexton is very optimistic about the 2020-21 season. When asked when he thinks the Cavs will return to the playoffs, Sexton said “next season.” Was he serious?

“Yes. Next season,” he said emphatically.

The Cavs are currently 19-46 with the NBA season suspended. Sexton is averaging an impressive 20.8 points per game, but the team still has a very long way to go. Even if Drummond re-signs, Cleveland is far from a lock to make the playoffs barring a big offseason move or two.

It’s unclear how much of a negative impact John Beilein had on Cavaliers players before he parted ways with the organization, but the Cavs recently showed they believe in JB Bickerstaff going forward. While Sexton isn’t going to admit he doesn’t expect Cleveland to contend next season, he could have just as easily provided a more vague response.