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Woj: Andre Drummond ‘natural fit’ for Nets, but is it a realistic possibility?

L.A. Clippers v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Add Adrian Wojnarowski to the growing list of writers who think a marriage of the Nets and Andre Drummond would be ideal for Brooklyn, but he like others aren’t sure the possibility is realistic. In a possibly related move, Woj said a number of teams are interested in trading for Spencer Dinwiddie ... despite his injury.

Previously, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and Zach Harper of The Athletic had suggested the Nets would like to wait for the Cavaliers to buy out Drummond, then sign him in time for Drummond to play in the post-season.

In a pre-game interview on ESPN Friday, Woj was asked by ESPN’s Maria Taylor whether there was a player on the horizon who could fill the Nets voids in defense and rebounding, Woj volunteered the name of 6’10” Cleveland center who’s the league’s leading rebounder.

“There’s a natural fit out there with Andre Drummond in Cleveland,” Woj said of the 27-year-old who’s on his way to his fourth straight rebounding title. “Now, he’s the final year of his deal at $28 million and Cleveland’s future is clearly with Jarrett Allen who came from the Nets in that four-team trade. It’s difficult for Brooklyn to put the pieces together to make a trade given Drummond’s salary.

“I’m told that he’s not necessarily interested in a contract buyout before the trade deadline which is March 25, but he could be in play potentially with a buyout after that date is the Cavs don’t find a trade for him in the interim. But one interesting trade piece for the Nets is Spencer Dinwiddie who was lost for the season with that ACL injury.”

Woj explained that beyond moving Dinwiddie in a potential deal for Drummond, there are others who are interested in the 27-year-old point guard who averaged 21 points and seven assists last season.

“He’ll be a free agent this summer and there are teams who have interest in trading for him. to have his Bird Rights, to be able to sign potentially long-term. perhaps teams who don’t have cap space. It’d be a way to get him on their roster, then they could sign him. This is a player who could perhaps command $70 ... 75 ... mayber 80 million in the market even after an ACL injury,” added Woj.

“So watch between now and the trade deadline. as I think teams reach out to the Nets about Dinwiddie. And that gives them another trade asset here as they look to improve this roster.”

Woj didn’t detail what the Nets could get back from other teams but in addition to a big, the Nets might be interested in a wing defender. Their recent additions — Norvel Pelle and Iman Shumpert — would fill those voids, but both are non-guaranteed and before the Nets signed them, they had no NBA offers. The Nets could also try to begin filling their draft cupboard, having traded away three first rounders and the right to swap four others in the James Harden trade.

Drummond has played fewer minutes since the arrival of Allen. In the nine games he’s played since the James Harden deal was finalized, Drummond hasn’t played more than 33 minutes. In the week prior to the trade, he’d averaged nearly 40.

Drummond, Harden and Kyrie Irving were teammates back in 2014 when as members the Team USA squad they won the gold at the FIBA World Cup.

On Saturday, Bobby Marks added a footnote to the Nets DPE availability. Marks told ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst that the Nets will need to use the DPE before any Dinwiddie trade. If Dinwiddie is traded before the DPE is used, the DPE will no longer be available to the Nets.