Sam Amick of The Athletic looked at the lineup of the Brooklyn Nets that’s highlighted by the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving and also includes center DeAndre Jordan.
Amick included the anonymous opinions of three NBA scouts regarding the overall lineup, with one Western Conference scout stating that a buyout of Drummond might be part of the Nets’ plan to improve their rebounding.
“They’re really small. (Jordan) doesn’t play a lot (20.3 minutes per game), and when he’s out (they’re small),” the scout said. “So defensive rebounding is a concern. James can guard bigger guys. He has proven that. He’s been one of the best post defenders statistically the last four or five years. But still, I think it really hurts them overall. Especially rebounding. I think they’re going to try to get a big, either on a buyout or a trade. I would not be surprised to see Drummond there, if he would take a buyout (According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the notion of a buyout appears ‘nonsensical’; Drummond is earning $28.7 million in the final year of his deal).”
Drummond’s pending free agency after this season likely limits the prospect of a deal since the Cavs would receive little in return
Also, as noted, a buyout offers the Cavaliers limited help, other than reducing Drummond’s massive salary from their payroll.
The 27-year-old Drummond is currently leading the NBA in rebounds per game, and is capable of delivering a double-double every night.
If the Nets are truly serious about acquiring Drummond, it puts the Cavaliers in a position where they can ask for more than they would presumably get elsewhere.