The Cavaliers will no longer play the former All-Star center as they look to trade him before the league's trade deadline on March 25, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. On the season, Drummond has started 25 games for Cleveland and is averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per performance.
The Cavaliers acquired center Jarrett Allen earlier this season in a mega three-team deal that sent James Harden in Brooklyn, and the team plans to make Allen its starting center moving forward, per Wojnarowski. Thus, Drummond's presence on the roster became superfluous. Drummond, who has started the vast majority of games he's played in over the course of his career, likely wouldn't wanted to be a backup, and the rebuilding Cavs could potentially recoup some value for him. Thus, a trade makes sense for both sides.
Until a deal is made, Drummond will remain with the team, but stay inactive as he was during the Cavaliers' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. A number of teams are interested in Drummond's services, per Wojnarowski. "Whichever direction this goes, Andre is 27, in his prime, and I believe strongly that he has a great deal to add to a team building toward a postseason run," Drummond's agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, said in a statement.
One team that is showing interest in Drummond already is the Toronto Raptors. Both sides have been actively engaged in trade talks involving for the veteran center, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Raptors and Cavaliers are engaged in active talks on a deal that would send Drummond to Toronto/Tampa, sources tell The Athletic. Discussions between the two sides have occurred in the last few days, and Drummond was pulled from the lineup in Sunday's game against the Clippers due to "rest" with Cleveland on a back-to-back at the Clippers and the Warriors on Monday. Multiple sources told The Athletic that Drummond was pulled from the lineup also in part due to his "attitude and play" recently, and sources say Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff has had multiple sit-down conversations with the big man.
... For the Raptors, a deal structure could include several contracts to reach Drummond's $28.7 million salary this season, and it could involve multiple other teams. Such a deal could take a while to come together. The Raptors are currently starting Aron Baynes at center.
Toronto's interest in Drummond makes sense as it could certainly use a player of his ilk to fortify the frontcourt after losing both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka over the offseason. There are also other contending teams -- Nets and Celtics -- that could use a productive big man like Drummond for their playoff push. Drummond is on the final year of his current contract (worth roughly $28.75), meaning that whichever team ultimately trades for him won't necessarily be making a long-term commitment as he will become an unrestricted free agent after the current campaign. Drummond's status will certainly be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline.