Cleveland Cavaliers working on buyout for benched center Andre Drummond


CLEVELAND — The NBA trade deadline came and went. Andre Drummond didn’t move.

Unable to find a trade partner Thursday for the benched center, the Cavaliers will try to structure a contract buyout for the two-time All-Star, coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters.

Drummond hasn’t played since Feb. 12 and could wind up on a contending team after being pushed aside in Cleveland. The sides can agree to any financial figure for the buyout, but Drummond will likely get a prorated portion of the $28.7 million he’s due this season.

The Cavs were expected to be busy Thursday but only made one deal, acquiring center Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round picks from the Denver Nuggets for center JaVale McGee, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Cleveland is acquiring a 2027 unprotected second-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick protected through No. 46, sources told Wojnarowski.

At the time, the Cavs thought benching Drummond — agreed to by him — would lead to them trading the 27-year-old. However, his huge contract complicated things as Cleveland didn’t want to take on more money in order to move him.

Drummond’s unclear status has hung over the team for weeks and it’s created an awkward situation for Bickerstaff, who hasn’t had Kevin Love all season because of a calf injury and has been asked to develop players and try to win.

The Cavs have had an uneven season. They’re 17-27, but only 2.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference and the final play-in spot. Cleveland continues its road trip at the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Drummond, who has not spoken to the media since early February, can now leave Cleveland with a buyout and join a contender.

He’s been linked to several teams, including the Lakers, who could be in the market for some help with LeBron James and Anthony Davis currently sidelined with injuries.

Drummond came to the Cavs last season from the Pistons. He averaged 17.5 points and 12.9 rebounds in 33 games for Cleveland.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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