Cleveland Cavaliers C Andre Drummond has decided to opt into his $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported early Tuesday morning. Drummond was acquired by the Cavs from the Detroit Pistons prior to the Trade Deadline last season. He has chosen not to head into free agency when the window opens at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday.
This move isn’t all that surprising. Drummond could have commanded more on the open market this season, but he could also play his way into a bigger extension with Cleveland during the season. He also has some incentive to perform in a contract year and go into the open market in 2021, when more teams can compete for his services. There’s also a decent chance the Cavaliers ship Drummond back out before the deadline in 2021.
For now, Drummond acts as a solid 1B option with PF Kevin Love for the Cavs, who are still working through a rebuild. Guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are still developing along with Kevin Porter and Cedi Osman, so Cleveland actually doesn’t have a bad core right now. The team is also set to lose Tristan Thompson via free agency this offseason, which isn’t as big a deal with Drummond hanging around another season.
Drummond is one of the premier rebounders in the NBA. Last year, it was a lot more mouths to feed with Thompson in town, so Drumm should be able to get into his normal rebounds per game range of 12-13, even with Love in the frontcourt. It’s a small sample, but in the 8 games Drummond did play for the Cavs, he averaged 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks with a team-leading 21.19 PER. Drummond could be a decent sleeper pick in season-long formats with the expectation he’ll play a ton in Cleveland and could get dealt to a better team at some point.