NBA Trade Rumors: Raptors are zeroing in on Andre Drummond
February is in full swing, which means it's peak NBA trade rumor season.
Let’s look into some of the biggest rumors swirling around the league this week.
Andre Drummond is as good as gone
On Monday, ESPN "bomb-dropper" Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be sitting center Andre Drummond until they can find a trade for him. This is a sign that they will be looking to move the big man as soon as possible.
The biggest obstacle in finding a trade partner is the salary cap. Drummond is currently making $28.8 million in the final year of his deal. For some teams to truly be able to trade for the big man, they will need to depend on a buyout of his contract.
The most obvious suitor for a trade with the Cavaliers is the Toronto Raptors. NBA insider Shams Charania reported that the Raptors and Cavaliers are already in active trade talks for Drummond, with veteran point guard Kyle Lowry being the most likely player to be swapped. Don't be surprised if a third team enters into the mix to help facilitate an even bigger deal.
Blake Griffin taking the Drummond route to a trade
Much like the Cavaliers and Drummond, the Detroit Pistons have decided to sit Blake Griffin until they can find a trade suitor. Griffin’s contract is even tougher to trade away than Drummond’s is as he is making $36.6 million this season and $39 million next season. The Pistons will almost surely need to buy out the contract to get him to a contender.
One team that could benefit from Griffin's play is the Miami Heat. The Heat would require a buyout of the contract to bring in Griffin, but they could really use a strong veteran leader to come off the bench. Without a buyout, the Heat would have to be willing to part ways with both Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala.
Kings looking to trade away a vet to a contender
The Sacramento Kings sat forward Nemanja Bjelica for 14 consecutive games before conspicuously playing him for 28 and 24 minutes in consecutive games amid some possible trade rumors.
Bjelica is an excellent role player for a playoff contender. He is a stretch four than can shoot lights out from three point range and can rack up the assists and rebounds. In his two recent games mentioned above, Bjelica averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 6.5 rebounds per game.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a major player for the veteran forward as they could use some extra shooting on their bench. The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that both the 76ers and Heat are interested in trading for the 32-year old forward.
Which contender needs to hit the trade market the hardest?
Will the Wizards let go of Bradley Beal?
All signs from the Washington Wizards’ front office and coaching staff suggest there is no way they are trading Bradley Beal this season. Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, spoke to Yahoo! Sports about the trade rumors saying, "It’s the team that drafted him, the team that’s invested in him, and he desperately wants to make them a championship contender. He’s not looking for the easy way out. He challenges himself. The evolution of his game speaks volumes about how committed he is and how hard he works."
Despite Bartelstein's comments, the numbers say a trade just makes sense. Don't be shocked if Beal is sent to the Houston Rockets, where he would rejoin former backcourt mate John Wall. Throw in some draft picks and an expiring deal and everyone will be happy.