Nets: 3 players Brooklyn should target after Iman Shumpert signing

Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Andre Drummond, Nets
Andre Drummond #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond figures to be the prime buyout candidate for the Nets.

This one is extremely unlikely, but it has been rumored quite a bit recently. If the Nets somehow can figure out a way to get Andre Drummond I believe they would be considered the undisputed favorite to win the championship. The biggest weaknesses this team has are defense and rebounding. Drummond is an excellent rebounder as he is leading the league with 14.7 rebounds a night. While he isn’t the best defender, he can move a lot better than Jordan and is blocking 1.4 shots a game.

The one knock against Drummond would be his free throw shooting. In his career, Drummond is a measly 46.5% from the charity stripe. This season he’s shooting it at a 58.6% clip, which is better, but still very poor. This makes it incredibly difficult to have him on the floor at the end of games. The good news for the Nets is that they have Jeff Green on the roster, who is a career 80.6% shooter from the line and is hitting 85.7% of his attempts this season.

Drummond would be needed on the floor especially in games played against big centers like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic. Jeff Green, at 6-foot-8, just simply cannot contain guys like that.

With the Harden trade, the Nets had to move Jarrett Allen, but if they can get Drummond, that loss won’t be felt as much. Allen ended up going to the Cavaliers and is currently the backup center for Drummond. Since arriving in Cleveland, Allen is playing almost just as much as Drummond and has closed a handful of games. He figures to be the future at the position, which is great news for the Nets because in order for Allen to get more playing time, Drummond needs to go.

With that in mind, the only way for the Nets to get Drummond would be through a buyout. The big man is making $28.75 million this season, which the Nets cannot afford. However, most contenders who need a center cannot afford him as well. Last season, Drummond was traded for Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a 2023 second-round pick. This was with a year left on his contract. This means his value is pretty much nonexistent at that price tag, especially since he’ll be a free agent after this season.

I believe Drummond would be very willing to pursue a buyout with Cleveland. He would have a chance to win a championship and wouldn’t lose out much financially. The Nets have a $5.7 million Disabled Player Exception thanks to Spencer Dinwiddie’s season-ending injury and can use that money to sign Drummond. He could give that money up in order to get out of Cleveland and just recoup it in Brooklyn while getting more guaranteed playing time and a chance at a ring.

What makes it unlikely for me is Cleveland not being willing to buy Drummond out. While his trade value is nonexistent it’s pretty unheard of for a player of this caliber to get tossed aside like this. And with Cleveland currently sitting at 9-10, which is the 7th seed in the East, I can see them keeping Drummond to try and compete for a playoff spot. With the top 10 seeds guaranteed a spot in the play-in tournament, I don’t see Cleveland falling out of contention completely.

Hopefully, the Nets can figure out a way to get Drummond because he would be the best solution to their center dilemma, but I wouldn’t bank on it happening. Luckily there are other good options they can pursue.