The Toronto Raptors are currently in the running to land star centre Andre Drummond before the trade deadline at the end of March. The Cleveland Cavaliers announced last week that they would not be playing him until he gets traded or bought-out by the team. This is definitely unfair to Drummond, here’s what Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said in a press conference about the situation.
“None of us wanted it to come to this, I think you let Dre speak for himself but, you know, we had a good relationship. You know, he liked it here in Cleveland, so it was not something that was easily decided upon and obviously, we felt the same way about Dre. I got nothing but great things to say about him, a lot of our early success like I mentioned before, was on his back on both ends of the floor.”
Drummond is one of/if not the best rebounder of all time, and the Raptors could seriously use a big like him. Their current starting centre and new acquisition for this season, Aron Baynes has had a rough start to the campaign, and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. The 34-year-old is averaging just north of five points and five rebounds a game this season. Their backup Chris Boucher has been much better, however his slim frame makes him vulnerable against the bigger centers in the league. Enter Andre Drummond. Former player and NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins said on an ESPN talk show that he believes he can be a great fit for a playoff push for the Raptors.
“He would be a great addition to the Toronto Raptors, who I believe will make the playoffs and the only thing they’re missing is the anchor in a defensive center like Andre Drummond ”
This season, Drummond is averaging 17 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block a game. Without a doubt, Drummond’s glass cleaning is needed for the Raptors, who rank in the bottom quarter of the league in rebounding.
The biggest issue for the Raptors here is Drummond is on an expiring contract, so his future with the team would be uncertain after this season. Toronto also would need to ship at least four players to Cleveland to be able to afford Drummond’s 28 million dollar contract. It would be more likely to see a three or four team trade rather than a straight swap.
At the end of the day, if the Raptors want to make a run in the playoffs this season, a centre that sures up the paint like Andre is going to solve many of their problems.