The New York Knicks have been relying on center Nerlens Noel after Mitchell Robinson fractured his hand several days ago. While Noel is a solid depth option, he’s not an offensive threat but more a defensive player. He’s only averaging 4.0 points per game over 19 minutes, while Robinson is averaging 8.4 over 28.8 minutes.
Finding a scoring presence in the interior would be a benefit for New York, and while they might have assumed Obi Toppin would be further along offensively, he’s struggled to start his young career. This could lead to a potential trade opportunity for the Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, who are reportedly looking to part ways with Andre Drummond.
Drummond, who is in the final year of a five-year contract with the Cavs, is earning $28.7 million this season, and the Knicks have enough cap space to make it work mathematically.
How much money do the New York Knicks have to spend?
With about $15 million to spend, the Cavaliers would consume a good chunk of his contract to get him off the books. This would offer the Knicks a fantastic scoring center who demands attention in the paint. Drummond is averaging 17.5 points per game this year, shooting .474 from the field and totaling 13.5 rebounds per game. He is an absolute animal around the rim, but there are questions around him fitting with Julius Randle and what they would do with Robinson once he returns from injury.
Ultimately, his offensive presence and domination in the rebound category makes him extremely valuable for a Knicks team that could use his specific skill-set. Robinson has failed to take the next step forward in his offensive progression, but he is a fantastic shot-blocker and rebounder.
The Knicks have a team option for Robinson next season at $1.8 million, so they can easily retain him for a cheap fix. Considering Drummond is in the final year of his contract, the Knicks likely wouldn’t have to offer much to acquire him, and they could see how he fits in their mold and scheme.
Personally, I feel like he would be a fantastic addition, and Tom Thibodeau would love his intensity and scoring ability down low. He’s a physical player that brings toughness to the court, and he would open up the perimeter for shooters like Reggie Bullock and Immanuel Quickley. I also believe he would mesh well with Randle, who likes to drive to the basket. Drummond would demand so much attention that Randle would have more opportunities to attack uncontested.