NBA trade deadline rumors: Knicks in the mix for Andre Drummond as Cavaliers look to ditch All-Star center


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Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond has been on the trading block for more than a month, but with the deadline approaching, a deal has yet to materialize. Your salary is the main reason. Drummond, a former NBA All-Star, is making $ 28.7 million this season, and any team that acquires him would have to return nearly the same amount to fit under the cap. Few stakeholders have that kind of salary laying around, so the expectation has been that Drummond will eventually be bought and free to sign with a new team in free agency.

However, there is still time for a properly motivated suitor to step up and secure it, and according to Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer, one of those suitors might have revealed himself. The New York Knicks have become a serious potential target for Drummond, O’Connor reports. The Knicks are much more flexible in how they can acquire Drummond than most teams.

New York racked up about $ 19 million in salary space during the season, a rarity in the modern NBA, and they used a portion of that to help acquire Derrick Rose last month. They now have about $ 15 million left in space, which means they would only need to send $ 13.7 million or so to match Drummond’s salary. The Knicks have eight players making between $ 4-8 million, so it would be doable. The alternative for New York would be to wait until Drummond is bought and then use his cap space to sign him to a major multi-year contract. No other team can match his current buying power, so if Drummond was interested in staying in New York, the Knicks could pay him handsomely to do so.

New York’s opening night starter in center Mitchell Robinson recently returned from a broken hand, and the Knicks also have Nerlens Noel in center. Julius Randle made the All-Star Game for them as a power forward, and as disappointing as No. 8 overall pick Obi Toppin has been, he still figures in the team’s future. All of this is to say that Drummond would be a somewhat confusing addition to New York if they don’t have other moves planned, but adding talent is rarely a bad thing.

If the Knicks want to add Drummond, their cap space will allow them to do so. No other team has the flexibility that they have. Now they need to determine how interested they really are in downtown Cleveland, and if it is really worth the opportunity cost of using that space elsewhere.



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