Andre Drummond is still undecided on accepting his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Chris Sheridan. Opting in would see the center earn $28.7 million for next season.
In June, Drummond said he would accept his option, but no official announcement has been made on that front. The Cavs are interested in working out an extension with Drummond, but that has not been confirmed either.
As Matthew Sponhour pointed out, if Drummond is unsure about his player option, that can mean two different things.
- He believes his services could command more than $28.7 million as an unrestricted free agent.
If he believes that, it’s completely ludicrous. Although Andre Drummond has been the league’s best rebounder during his career, he’s not worth that much money. Rebounds are great, but nobody should be paying a premium for them.
- Drummond knows he wouldn’t get $28.7 million from any other team and is deciding whether that money is worth having to suit up for the Cavaliers for another season.
This is probably valid. Drummond is 27, in the prime of his career, and is one of the only traditional centers in an NBA that has prioritized shooting and efficiency over height and paint dominance. Cleveland was the worst team in the Eastern Conference this season, even after picking up Drummond at the trade deadline. I doubt the UConn product wants to play for yet another losing team. He will be better off somewhere else.
Andre Drummond Should Opt Out
It’s in Andre Drummond’s best interest to decline his player option, that is, assuming that he and the Cavaliers are nowhere close in extension talks. He doesn’t lose all his leverage if he enters free agency and will probably still collect a pretty hefty paycheck from a team that is sure to be better than the Cavs. This is especially true given that this year’s free agency class is lacking high-profile names. Drummond will be the best free agent available.
Alternatively, he could take the player option, secure big money, and hope he gets traded. However, the trade market will most likely be pretty dry for a player like Drummond. Contending teams won’t need him, and buying teams won’t want to sacrifice major depth pieces to bring him in. A $28.7 million salary means any team trading for Drummond would sacrifice significant parts of their team that make similar money.
By opting out, Drummond can be the piece that takes a mediocre team to contention. He should take that opportunity, even if it means sacrificing a year of making bank in Cleveland.
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