Cleveland Cavaliers officially buy Andre Drummond, salute veterans’ ‘professionalism’


CLEVELAND – Center Andre Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a purchase with the Cavaliers.

Drummond, who has not played since mid-February, began negotiating the terms of the purchase with the Cavs on Thursday after the club failed to trade the 27-year-old before the deadline.

The deal ends a partnership that became awkward when the Cavs benched Drummond to give young center Jarrett Allen more playing time.

Despite losing his role with the team, Drummond, a two-time All-Star with the Detroit Pistons before coming to Cleveland last year, remained engaged with his teammates and did not become a distraction. He often sat among the Cavs’ coaches during games, offering advice and encouragement.

“I want to thank Andre for his contributions to our team both on and off the court, and for his professionalism and mutual cooperation as we navigate this process with him and his representation,” said general manager Koby Altman. “We have great respect for Andre as a person and as a player here in Cleveland and we are happy to have achieved a result that benefits both Andre and our team.”

Drummond, one of the NBA’s best rebounders and a proven scorer, had a $ 28.7 million contract this season and is expected to attract the interest of several rival teams.

He averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games before the Cavs decided to give Allen the majority of playing time.

Drummond made the playoffs twice with the Pistons, who selected him with the ninth overall pick in 2012.

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