The Nets were the biggest buyers during the early portion of the 2021 season, piecing together a blockbuster trade to bring All-NBA guard James Harden to Brooklyn. The former Rockets star joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to form an even stronger superteam. Even still, the Nets might not be done scooping up talent.
Rumors have begun to swirl that Brooklyn may go after two-time All Star Andre Drummond, if the Cavaliers make their starting center available as a buy-out candidate later this year. The 27-year-old veteran hasn’t fully become the contributor that Cleveland hoped he could be and many feel that the organization will move on from his expiring contract as soon as this year.
“People around the league say the Nets are hoping that Andre Drummond, the Cavs center, gets bought out,” Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer said in an interview with Andrew Yang recently. “That’s what people say they’re hoping for but that’s unlikely because Cleveland is still in (playoff hunt).”
As of right now, the Cavaliers sit right at .500, with a record of 8-8 through 16 games. In the early going, that’s good enough for sixth in the Eastern Conference, but many don’t believe that Cleveland will end the the season in the playoff race. If that prediction rings true, Drummond might be made available later in the year.
.@KevinOConnorNBA talking with @AndrewYang "People around the league say the Nets are hoping that Andre Drummond, the Cavs center, gets bought out. That's what people say they're hoping for but that's unlikely because Cleveland is still in (playoff hunt)" https://t.co/hQWtZw6Sli
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) January 25, 2021
During the first few games of Brooklyn’s “Big Three” experiment, they’ve found themselves desperately in need of defense. In the three games that Durant, Irving and Harden have played together, the Nets have given up 147, 125 and 124 points. While scoring won’t be a problem for the dynamic offensive trio, preventing buckets could be an issue.
Drummond could easily become an anchor on the back end for the Nets and plug-in as the team’s primary five. Since Jarrett Allen joined the Cavaliers in the Harden trade, Brooklyn has played DeAndre Jordan much more and often slides Jeff Green to center during crunch time. Neither one has gotten it done defensively, potentially making the Nets buyers once again. Drummond had one of his best seasons on defense in 2019 and seems to be on a similar trajectory this year.
If Brooklyn could buy-out the 27-year-old’s contract later this season, he may prove to be the last piece the Nets need to make a title run.