Andre Drummond trade grades: Cavaliers take low-cost gamble on big man; Pistons get what they can
Drummond being traded wasn't a shock, but the destination and price certainly were
Andre Drummond has seemingly perennially been on the trade market, and he was finally moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers just ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Cavs sent Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick to Detroit in exchange for the two-time All-Star, according to multiple reports.
Drummond had been linked to the Atlanta Hawks earlier this season, but those talks reportedly dissolved and the Hawks ended up getting former Houston center Clint Capela. The Cavaliers came out of nowhere to grab Drummond for a rock-bottom price.
Here is the full reported deal and grades for each team.
Cleveland Cavaliers get:
- Andre Drummond
Detroit Pistons get:
- Brandon Knight
- John Henson
- Lesser of Warriors' or Cavs' 2023 second-round pick
Cavaliers trade grade: B
Say what you will about Drummond's place in the modern NBA, but this is a low-cost move to see how Drummond fits in with the Cavs before they decide whether or not they want to keep him this offseason, when Drummond can become a free agent. Even if Drummond picks up his $28.8 million option for next season, it likely won't negatively affect the Cavaliers too much because they weren't exactly expected to be a major player in this summer's free-agent market. It also seems like Drummond has been in the league forever, but he's only 26 years old, so he aligns somewhat with the Cavs' youth movement of Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and whichever player they select with their high pick in the 2020 draft.
On the court, the Cavs are already a strong rebounding team thanks to Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson (seventh in the NBA in rebounding percentage), so Drummond will only add to that as arguably the league's best rebounder. Perhaps the Cavs' idea was to help their 29th-ranked defense, but while Drummond is a good shot-blocker, he grades out poorly in rim protection. He's allowing 1.178 points per possession around the basket, according to Synergy Sports Technology, which is only in the 18th percentile of the league.
No matter the impact on the team, the Cavs took a worthwhile gamble for a minimal price. Will this trade make the Cavs contenders any time soon? No. But Drummond could impress the team enough to become a foundational piece moving forward.
Pistons trade grade: C
It appears that Detroit was done with Drummond, so they decided to get what they could for him. They took on two expiring contracts and got a second-round pick, which essentially amounts to a salary dump. Drummond was either going to decline his option and leave the Pistons empty-handed or pick up the option and saddle Detroit with an undesirable contract, so it makes senes to get something for him. So why a C grade? As we mentioned before, Drummond has been on the trade block for years, and there was likely a deal they could have made earlier that would have yielded them a much better return. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but had Detroit been more proactive, they could be set up much better for their inevitable rebuild.
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