Several notable teams are reportedly in the thick of the Andre Drummond sweepstakes, but the Toronto Raptors arguably need the Cavs’ big man the most.
To simply put it, the Raptors badly need help reinforcing their interior, and the 6-foot-10 double-double machine ticks all the boxes they are lacking at the moment.
Raptors fans know that before being forced to sit out by the Cleveland Cavaliers until they find a suitable trading partner, Andre Drummond notched solid numbers of 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 25 games.
Things haven’t been going great for the Raptors since they lost both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol in the offseason to the Clippers and Lakers, respectively. This brings up the need for Andre Drummond. The Toronto experiment with Alex Len definitely didn’t work, while having Aron Baynes starting at the 5 is garnering mixed results so far.
Head coach Nick Nurse has been making do with a small ball line-up at the moment as the Raptors currently occupy the seventh seed in the East with a 13-15 record.
The East has changed this season, and it looks like roster changes are in order for the Raptors if they intend to keep up. Obtaining a two-time All-Star like Andre Drummond will be a good start.
While a buy-out will be the perfect scenario for the Raptors to obtain the 27-year-old slot man, it’s likely that the Cavs would want to get assets in return.
The tricky part for the Raptors would be to match Drummond’s remaining $28 million on his contract before he enters free agency next season.
In hindsight, the simplest offer the Raptors can make is a straight-up Drummond for Kyle Lowry swap.
It makes sense salary-wise since Lowry is also an expiring contract and the Raptors are also reportedly open to parting ways with their franchise star.
The Cavs, on the other hand, can afford to absorb Lowry’s $30 million contract with the Raptors and have significant cap room next season when he hits the market.
But it’s unlikely that Cleveland would take another playmaker considering they put all their chips on their promising backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
The Raptors will have to part ways with multiple players just to be able to land Drummond.
The Deal: Raptors send Aron Baynes, Norman Powell, Terence Davis, and Patrick McCaw to the Cavaliers for Andre Drummond
While the Cavs would also likely want future draft picks for Drummond’s services, this four-player haul is actually not a bad return for them from the Raptors.
Baynes gives them a decent backup center for Jarett Allen, while Powell is a two-way Raptors asset that could bolster their wings. Davis and McCaw are fillers to make the salaries match, but they can also give some valuable minutes for a Cavs team in need of able-bodies.
The Raptors, meanwhile, will be taking quite the risk here since they’ll be losing some key guys on the rotation for a player who could turn out to be a very expensive rental.
Before the Raptors’ front office pulls the trigger on such a deal, they must get at least a verbal confirmation that Drummond would re-sign with the team after the season.
Toronto can always fill out their roster spots with standouts from its G-League affiliate, while there are still some serviceable veterans on the market that they could sign for a low price.
If the Raptors insist on taking Drummond in from a buy-out scenario instead of a trade, there’s a chance that other teams like the Mavericks, Clippers, and Nets can pluck him away.