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A Diminishing Trade Market for Andre Drummond

A Diminishing Trade Market for Andre Drummond

Over the last several weeks, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been quite vocal about putting center Andre Drummond on the trade block. This is Drummond’s second time on the trade block in two seasons.

The Cavaliers traded for Drummond before last season’s trade deadline. Here are the details of that trade that happened over a year ago:

Pistons received: Brandon Knight, John Henson, 2023 2nd-Round Pick

Cavaliers received: Andre Drummond

Looking at that trade now, it didn’t really work out for either team. Knight and Henson left the Pistons after the end of the 2020 season, and Drummond has been an issue as of late this year.

Not to mention, the Pistons are one of the worst teams in the league.

Why is Drummond’s Value so Little?

Drummond is averaging 18.6 points and 14.2 rebounds per game. Not to mention, it’s one of the best years of his career so far since entering the league in 2012.

The only plausible reason for his low value is because of the diminishing role of a true center in today’s NBA. This narrative has been happening for a while and has been centered around Drummond for a couple seasons now. So why would Cleveland take a gamble on him knowing that if he needed to be let go, the return would be minimal?

A Diminishing Trade Market for Andre Drummond
Image Courtesy of Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Well, since Cleveland is a small market team and not the most popular free agency spot, gambles have to be made. Now the Cavaliers will pay the price.

Over the last few weeks, several NBA executives have said that Drummond could only be worth “one or two second-round picks”, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Translation: Drummond is worth nothing in today’s NBA. Circling back to what was brought up earlier in the article: Drummond’s value is low because of what he can’t do on the court.

A Lost Art

All fans know the former UConn star can grab as many rebounds as a team needs him too, while clogging up the paint on defense. But contenders are more focused on that fact that Drummond clogs up the paint on offense, since he has no shooting ability.

Compare Drummond to other centers in today’s NBA. Stars like Nikola Jokić, Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns. All of those guys have the ability to handle the ball, shoot and even take an opponent one-on-one when facing the basket.

Diminishing Trade Market for Andre Drummond
76ers Center Joel Embiid posts-up on Andre Drummond during a game in 2018. Image Courtesy of Brian Sevald/Getty Images

All of those skills listed are things Andre Drummond can’t do or can’t do well.

For older fans of the NBA, fans that grew up watching dominant players like Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon, this might be a tough pill to swallow.

The truth is the game is becoming faster. The three-pointer is becoming more valuable. Teams would prefer offense over defense and would rather have players that can’t shoot and stretch the floor over players that protect the paint.

For the very few players that still do the traditional role of a center in today’s NBA, their game is a lost art.

As for Drummond, his problem is for the Cavaliers to figure out. He’ll continue to do what he does best, and hopefully Cleveland get some decent trade value for him.

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