Cleveland Cavaliers reach purchase agreement with Andre Drummond, sources say

LOS ANGELES – The Cleveland Cavaliers and Andre Drummond reached a purchase agreement Friday afternoon, sources told Drummond will become a free agent.

The Cavs and Drummond began negotiating the financial terms of the purchase on Thursday, shortly after the front office was unable to find a trade for the bench center before the deadline. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Drummond will meet with five interested teams – New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers – before making his decision.

Many in the league expect him to join the Lakers. But each team has something different to offer and will make a pitch.

Drummond has not played since Feb. 12, a mutual decision between him and the Cavaliers.

Friday’s purchase gives both parties a chance to officially move forward. Cleveland pulled him out of the lineup to give Jarrett Allen a bigger shot after acquiring the young Brooklyn building block in January. The Cavs didn’t feel like their squad was a viable on-court setup. Although Drummond was inactive, he remained committed to his teammates. Over the weekend, a few days before the deadline, Drummond was sitting on the bench with the coaches.

“It’s good for both of us to be honest with you. It is good for the organization. It’s good for Dre too, ”Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff said after Thursday’s practice in Los Angeles. “I cannot say enough about how he has handled all of this because it was not easy. It is a competitor. He wants to play. He loves his teammates. His peers adore him.

“And he could have been an idiot and have an attitude and not have been nice to his teammates and said negative things. But it never did. He handled it professionally. That’s one of the things we have to make sure to focus on and remember how gracefully he handled an extremely difficult situation. “

Drummond has made two career postseason appearances. He spoke about the possibility of making three, opting for his $ 28.7 million contract last offseason and seeing Cleveland as a potential trade destination and an opportunity for a fresh start. But Allen’s arrival in January changed that. The opportunity to join a contender will influence Drummond’s eventual decision.

Without Drummond, the Cavs will have two open roster spots. Sources say the conversion of Lamar Stevens or Brodric Thomas, both playing on two-way deals, has been discussed as a possibility. The Cavs will soon have to call backup point guard Quinn Cook, who is in the middle of his second 10-day contract. Another possibility is to leave at least one of the spots vacant, scouring the NBA and the G League to see if there is anyone worth signing at the end of the season.

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