In his first performance since Allen was acquired, Drummond delivered a monster game by scoring 33 points and hauling down 23 rebounds in a win over the New York Knicks. Yet, Drummond made clear that his effort wasn’t driven by the deal for Allen.
“Oh, no. For me, I play the same way each and every night,” Drummond said when asked if he was motivated by the deal. “The trade, it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about that. If I do get traded, I don’t control that either. I’m just here to play basketball with whatever jersey I have on. So that’s all I can focus on right now.”
The 27-year-old Drummond is in the final year of his contract that’s paying him $28.8 million for the 2020-21 campaign.
The fact that Allen figures to be the Cavaliers’ center of the future could ultimately result in Drummond being moved.
Exactly what the Cavaliers would be able to get for a center with an expiring contract and a huge salary is unknown, but Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff spoke about Drummond’s talent after his monster game.
“I think again we’ve talked about it before, when he plays with that determination and that force, there’s not many people who can stop him 1-on-1,” Bickerstaff said. “I think he did that. He played with force and with purpose for 40 minutes tonight that we played him.
“You saw it early with his work on the offensive glass and getting second possessions. He had seven offensive rebounds in the first half that were huge for us. I think that’s the thing, that purpose and that force that he plays with where he can play through contact.”
Whatever the future does hold for Drummond, he’ll continue to zero in on helping improve the Cavaliers’ current 6-7 record. His next chance will come on Wednesday night when the Cavaliers host the Brooklyn Nets.