Over the past couple of years, Andre Drummond has been one of the best centers in the league. He's a four-time rebounding champion and has never averaged under 11 RPG minus his rookie season. Any team in the NBA would be lucky to have him.
Before the Harden trade, Drummond was averaging 19.3 PPG, 15.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 32.2 MPG. After the Harden trade and Jarrett Allen's arrival in Cleveland, his numbers have since progressed downward to 15.8 PPG, 11.4 RPG in 25.8 MPG. With Drummond, Allen, and McGee all on the Cavalier roster, the Cavs want to acquire talent in other positions.
When I think of teams that demand a more reliable center, the Hornets are one of the first teams that come to mind. Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo are both above-average backup centers, but Zeller starts. I believe that the one piece the Hornets have been missing is a solid center, and they can fill that void with Drummond. Who would they give up to pry Drummond away from Cleveland? The list starts with Malik Monk, who could undoubtedly slide into the rotation upon his arrival in Cleveland. Whether Zeller or Biyombo is traded is up to the Cavaliers and what they want for their future. They already have Allen and McGee, it's their choice whether to accept one of Charlotte's centers or push to acquire someone else. Zeller and Biyombo are both on expiring contracts, and if Zeller gets traded, the Cavs will take over his $15.4M contract, so I would preferably receive Biyombo in the package for Drummond. If I'm the Cavs, I'm pushing for somebody else such as a power forward or small forward. Cedi Osman is the substitute for both the SF and PF position, showing a lack of depth for both of those positions. All in all, a trade package for Drummond could look anything like Malik Monk, P.J. Washington, and Zeller, or it could appear as simple as a straight-up swap between Gordon Hayward and Drummond. The tricky part is figuring out how to account for Drummond's extensive contract.
Is Porzingis a center or a power forward? To make things simple, he's both. This means that the Mavericks can move Porzingis to the PF position and dispense Drummond to the center position. Despite the addition of Josh Richardson, the Mavs have been awful on the defensive end. Now, we have to cut the Mavericks some slack because they have dealt with their fair share of injuries and safety protocols. That has interfered with their practice time and who is on the court playing games at times, which can mess with the team's defensive rotation. Adding Andre Drummond to this roster would give them a serious defensive boost. Moving Porzingis to the four would give the Mavericks the option to start either Finney-Smith or Kleber. With those two names listed, you're probably wondering who the Cavs would get in return. I feel that the Cavs could make something more out of this Drummond trade and build their team higher if they added another player to trade to Dallas, and that player is Darius Garland. I'll be the first to say that Garland is having a great second season, averaging 16 PPG and shooting much better from the field and three. That increase in scoring for Garland has not translated to anything, however, as the Cavs rank 30th within the league in offense and 25th in defense. Their net rating is the worst in the league as well. So what can you do to improve on both ends of the ball? Trade for a new offense, and defense.
In my mock trade, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson bring the offense (and a little bit of defense too) and Richardson brings the defense. Obviously, those three players would be a very high price for receiving just Porzingis and Garland in return, so I've added a 2021 FRP for the Mavericks to use in this star-studded draft class, which they currently don't have at the moment. The Mavs are also receiving a 2023 SRP, which they will most definitely appreciate as they do not have a single pick for that draft. I perceive that quite a few individuals will not be fans of Richardson departing from Dallas, but I believe the only way that the Mavericks would acquire Drummond is if the Cavs are receiving some sort of defensive talent in return.
Shams has already reported that the Raptors have engaged with the Cavs regarding Drummond, so the Raptors have been one of the early frontrunners to land him. Drummond would be a significant upgrade compared to Aron Baynes in the starting lineup. The Raptors are also dead last in the league in total rebounds, which Drummond could automatically straighten out.
There have been rumors about Kyle Lowry leaving the Raptors, so why not trade him here to give the Raptors their best shot at Drummond? Like I mentioned before, the ideal situation would be to trade for a new offense, and defense. What I mean by that is to acquire new offensive talent (they already have offensive talent, they just need a different type of talent, such as three-point shooting) and collect defensive players as well. Kyle Lowry is a new type of offense that includes playmaking and three-point shooting. Stanley Johnson provides limited offense, although he is a 41% three-point shooter, which the Cavs could certainly put to use. The Cavaliers are currently last in the league in three-pointers made and three-point percentage. This is why I have included three-point shooters such as Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and Matt Thomas. The Cavs could incorporate a new style of offense that could center around Lowry and Sexton, and flow through the others, supplying Okoro, Osman, in this case, Matt Thomas as well, with open looks.