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Shams: Nets still in Andre Drummond buyout sweepstakes, not interested in P.J. Tucker

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Cleveland Cavaliers v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

With 10 days left before the trade deadline, Shams Charania is taking a long look at who and what could be in play before March 25 ... and the buyout deadline two weeks later on April 9.

The headlines from Shams revolve around two players whose names have been connected to the Nets for the last several weeks, both of whom who have been sent home by their respective teams: Andre Drummond and P.J. Tucker.

As has been reported elsewhere, the Lakers are likely to be the competitors for the Nets... but he also notes that before Drummond clears the trade deadline, the other New York team might make a bid for the 6’11”, 279 pound big man.

The Lakers and Nets are believed to be Drummond’s top suitors should he receive a contract buyout after the trade deadline, but the Cavaliers are steadfast about finding a trade for the center. The Knicks have also explored the possibility of adding Drummond, and potentially offering him a multiyear deal as a free agent via buyout, sources said. The Cavaliers have so far sought an asset back in any Drummond deal — such as a second-round pick, sources said — but rival teams are skeptical about Cleveland’s ability to find one in a trade. Drummond is on an expiring contract worth $28.7 million.

Meanwhile, Shams suggests the Nets are out of the P.J. Tucker sweepstakes, at least in a trade. Tucker was sent home by the Rockets last week. He’s been frustrated that the cellar dwelling Rockets haven’t moved him ... and his nearly $8 million expiring deal.

The Rockets remain engaged with several teams — including Milwaukee, Miami and the Lakers — but sources say Houston’s desire for a young talented player has set a strong price in any potential deal for the 35-year-old forward. The Nets had pursued Tucker, a deal that would have required injured starting guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s contract, but sources say Brooklyn is no longer believed to be involved in the Tucker market. The Nets recently signed six-time All-Star Blake Griffin to bolster the front court.

Sam Amick, also of The Athletic, similarly wrote of Tucker, “Denver and Brooklyn, which have been tied to him previously, are not expected to still be in pursuit.”

In a separate story on Pistons trade possibilities, Shams and another colleague on The Athletic, Alex Schiffer discussed the possibility of a Nets trade with Detroit sending Spencer Dinwiddie and Mason Plumlee back to the teams that drafted them, saying there have been “whispers” of Brooklyn interest in the 6’11” big man.

In the trade, the Nets would send Dinwiddie to the Pistons along with a second rounder in 2022 in return for Plumlee and Wayne Ellington, the sharpshooter who played for the Nets in 2015-16.

There have been some whispers around the league surrounding the Nets’ interest in Plumlee, leagues sources tell The Athletic. Dinwiddie, who was drafted in 2014 by Detroit, will likely miss all of this season with an ACL injury, but this would be a good gamble by Detroit.

For starters, trading Plumlee opens up a bigger role for rookie Isaiah Stewart, who the team is very, very high on. Secondly, Dinwiddie, a dynamic guard when healthy, has a player option for next season that he would be wise to pick up since he will be coming off an injury. The Pistons could showcase him next season and potentially get solid value in a trade before the deadline (ACL recovery isn’t what it used to be). If Dinwiddie opts out, the Pistons end up with cap space and a second-round pick.

Plumlee is earning $8 million this season, $8.1 million next year with a partial guarantee in 2022-23. He’s one of the best passing bigs in the NBA, racking up two triple-doubles already this season.

Shams also tweeted that the Nets are being extra cautions with Kevin Durant’s hamstring strain, saying he doesn’t expect KD to return for one or two weeks. Considering that Steve Nash said five days ago that the Durant would undergo another scan sometime this week, followed by a ramp-up, that’s not surprising.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Reports also writes Monday about the Nets early season interest in Aaron Gordon (who’s currently injured).

[B]efore the Nets acquired James Harden in mid-January, Brooklyn first presented an offer involving either Caris LeVert or Spencer Dinwiddie for Gordon, sources said, yet the Magic were seeking a higher 2020 draft asset than the Nets were able to secure.

Fischer did not indicate any current interest.

Chris Haynes, also writing a round-up of possible moves, says the Nets’ long-rumored interest in JaVale McGeen, will intensify if they strike out on corralling another big.

Brooklyn has its eyes on other bigs who are on the market, but if those options dematerialize, McGee could find himself teaming up once again with Kevin Durant.

McGee played with KD on two Warriors championship teams and won again last season with the Lakers.