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Andre Drummond trade rumors start to fly as Cavs pull him from active play

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Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It now appears that the Nets four-team trade to acquire James Harden is creating aftershocks that maybe, perhaps, possibly strike Brooklyn between now and early April.

According to multiple sources, Andre Drummond is not just on the trading block, but is headed to the Cavaliers bench if not confined to the locker room. Jarrett Allen, who Brooklyn reluctantly gave up in the Harden trade, is now the Cavs starter and center of the future (as long as they can re-sign him in the summer.)

Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski and local Cleveland writers all agree that the 6’10” Drummond is on the market and unlikely to play again for the Cavs, with Shams suggesting the Cavs and Raptors are involved in “active” negotiations on a trade. However, no one is suggesting that a deal with Toronto or any other team is “imminent.”

The Nets have been linked to the 27-year-old Drummond, the NBA’s rebound leader in four of the last five years, with speculation centered on moving Spencer Dinwiddie in return. However, matching salaries on Drummond’s $28.7 million deal would mean coming up with a package worth at least $22.9 million, most likely requiring a third team to complete a deal. And third teams in big trades usually exact a heavy price in draft picks, something the Nets don’t have, and/or good young players.

However, the market for Drummond remains, at best, iffy. His $28.7 million salary is a big nut to crack in any trade and few teams would be willing to give up much in terms of assets without a guarantee that he’d be willing to re-sign ... and at a reasonable price. Moreover, as Shams writes...

Multiple sources told The Athletic that Drummond was pulled from the lineup also in part due to his “attitude and play” recently, and sources say Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff has had multiple sit-down conversations with the big man.

Woj put a slightly different spin on it...

The Cavaliers are moving to make Jarrett Allen the franchise’s long-term starting center and believe it’s unfair to Drummond to limit his minutes as the organization transitions to Allen, sources said.

Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman discussed the move with Drummond and his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, and decided together that Drummond would remain with the team but would no longer be active for games, sources said.

Later, on “The Jump,” Woj spoke about how Drummond would fit with the Nets.

“I do think there would be interest from Brooklyn. Maybe it’s the buyout market. It’s hard to see how the contracts line up. I know this right now: Cleveland has not be engaged in any serious conversations on a trade. They’re going to continue to navigate the marketplace ... it’s hard to see a one-for-one for Andre Drummond,” said Woj, who admitted that a multi-team deal could help the Nets.

As for a buyout, Woj said there’s no indication, at least now, that Drummond would want to be bought out ... and in the process lose his buyout rights.

“Then, in the end, he’d have to decide he wants to do a buyout and he’s not shown any inclination that’s something he’s interested in right now. So that’s something we’ll have to monitor. Certainly. there’s a great need in Brooklyn. He fits the need perfectly but can they find a way to acquire him.”

Still, Drummond is friendly with several players on the Nets. He, Harden and Kyrie Irving played together on the USA’s gold medal-winning FIBA World Cup team in 2014 and he’s spoken highly of both. Bruce Brown and Drummond were also teammates in Detroit last season. Whether all that would be enough for Sean Marks —and Joe Tsai— to expend assets on Drummond remains and open question.

However, as Shams also reports, the Nets —and Mavericks— would be interested in signing Drummond if he is bought out by the Cavaliers. It’s doubtful Cleveland would make any decision on a buyout until the March 25 trade deadline. Players who are bought out/waived by April 9 are eligible for the post-season. The Nets, of course, still have their taxpayers MLE and the Dinwiddie DPE, both valued at around $5.7 million, to lure players whose teams buy them out at less than their remaining salaries. A noted earlier, the problem is that if a player is bought out, his Bird Rights don’t transfer.

In addition to that Andre, Shams seemed to hint that the Nets could still have interest in Andre Roberson, who they passed on in favor of Iman Shumpert last week. However, Shumpert has injured his hamstring and might not be ready to play by February 24, when the Nets will have to decide on guaranteeing him for the rest of the season. Here’s what Shams reported in that regard.

Before signing Iman Shumpert, the Brooklyn Nets considered a deal with veteran forward Andre Roberson, sources said. The Nets looked into Roberson as a wing signing who can provide defense and experience. Roberson showed to the Nets that he is healthy and moving well. In seven NBA seasons, Roberson has averaged. 4.5 points and four rebounds per game, making the All-Defensive second team in 2017.

Roberson missed 30 months do to a severe knee injury before rejoining the Thunder in the “bubble” where he played seven games, putting up minimal numbers. The 29-year-old is the sister of Arielle Roberson, Dinwiddie’s long-time girlfriend. Dinwiddie and Roberson were also teammates at Colorado.

As noted, five of the Nets 17 players are on non-guaranteed deals that come due in nine days: Shumpert, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Norvel Pelle, Noah Vonleh and Chris Chiozza.