Knicks fending off competitors for 2-Time All-Star Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond, new york knicks

The New York Knicks didn’t make any significant splashes at the trade deadline on Thursday, but there is one big player available they could pursue aggressively. After an incredible comeback victory over the Washington Wizards, the Knicks showed off their resiliency, which might be appealing to a two-time All-Star like Andre Drummond.

Drummond was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers as they failed to find a trade partner and will reportedly “listen to pitches” from several teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks.

Cleveland benched Drummond weeks ago in hopes they could find a trade suitor, but with his massive $28.8 million salary hit, teams weren’t willing to bite on a contract that size. He’s in the final year of a five-year, $127.2 million deal, and at just 27 years old, he still has plenty of quality basketball left in him.

This season, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 deals, and 1.2 blocks over 25 appearances. He’s consistently a double-double player who is a fantastic presence in the paint and consistently blocks shots at a high rate.

The New York Knicks are in the running:

The Knicks, however, have competition from several big teams with star players. New York is still rebuilding and looking for adequate pieces to add to their puzzle of interesting players. They are one dominant force from being an above-average team that can beat playoff-caliber squads, but most recently lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers twice.

The problem that Drummond might brew in New York is the presence of Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is concerned that he might disrupt their chemistry, and he’s completely fine rolling with the current squad of players they have. I would argue that Noel, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Knicks last off-season, could be on his way out next year. If the Knicks acquire Drummond and extend him long-term, they can quickly replace Noel and begin to develop new chemistry with Andre and the starting five.

Having an elite presence inside who is also a physical defender at the point of attack would be stellar, and with Robinson quickly approaching the end of his contract, having a player like Drummond locked in could be viewed as a massive positive.

Report: Drummond’s buyout market centers around Lakers, Knicks

New York Knicks, Andre Drummond

The New York Knicks approached the NBA trade deadline with restraint, much as they did in the free agency.

They only did a minor trade involving Austin Rivers, who has fallen out of the rotation, and end-of-the-bench player Ignas Brazdeikis.

With their $15 million cap space still intact, the Knicks could still improve their roster via the buyout market.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report doubled down on an earlier report of The Ringer’s Kevin O’ Connor that the Knicks are a serious landing spot for Andre Drummond.

The Cleveland Cavaliers found no taker for Drummond, a former two-time All-star and a four-time rebounding leader, at the trade deadline.

The Lakers could offer less money but a chance to win a ring as Anthony Davis’ backup in the postseason.

More money to offer

The Knicks can lure Drummond with a multi-year deal and a more significant role in an ascending team that has a chance to break a seven-year playoff drought.

The Knicks can use their cap space to offer Drummond a pro-rated four-year, $64-million deal, according to The Athletic’s front office insider and former Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger.

Ian Begley of SNY reported earlier that the Knicks are divided when it comes to going after Drummond but added a prominent voice that wants to add him.

Connecticut connections

Drummond is a Mount Vernon native but considers Middletown, Connecticut, as his home, which is only a 15-minute drive from New Britain, Connecticut, where Tom Thibodeau hails.

Thibodeau coached Drummond in the 2014 FIBA World Cup as an assistant coach of the Team USA that won the gold. In the same year, Drummond fired Rob Pelinka as his agent. Pelinka is now the Lakers’ general manager.

Drummond also played for Thibodeau’s good friend, Jim Calhoun, in college. Thibodeau used to visit Calhoun’s practices in the Northeast. Drummond considers his UConn coach as one of his best friends.

It is unclear, though, if Thibodeau is that prominent voice that Begley refers to in his report.

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Report: Knicks still eyeing Lonzo Ball trade; Mitchell Robinson draws interest from teams

New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball

After dealing away Austin Rivers and Ignas Brazdeikis, the New York Knicks appear to have still some moves to make as the NBA trade deadline reaches its 11th hour.

Ian Begley of SNY reports that the Knicks remains active in discussion with the New Orleans for a potential trade involving Lonzo Ball.

ESPN’s Andrew Lopez just reported that Ball pulled himself out early in today’s practice.

Ball is set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason. Trading for Ball now means the Knicks will have the right to match any offer he can get from the other teams.

Mitchell Robinson, who was impressive in his second game back from hand surgery, is also garnering some interest. Begley reports that teams have reached out to the Knicks about trading for Robinson.

It is unclear if Robinson is on the table for a Ball deal.

The Knicks have been linked to Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Andre Drummond for quite some time now. If Robinson is flipped for Ball, then a Drummond deal via trade or buyout market makes more sense for the Knicks.

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Knicks trade Rivers, Brazdeikis in 3-way deal with Thunder, 76ers

New York Knicks, Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers knew his days with the New York Knicks were already numbered upon Derrick Rose’s arrival.

As expected, the Knicks traded Rivers to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a three-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, as first reported by ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rivers first hinted about a trade for him last month he fell out of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation.

“They had told me after the game [Feb. 7 versus the Heat] that they were bringing Derrick in,” Rivers said. “I had already kind of heard stuff even before the season started that he was going to be coming here. My whole thing is, control what I can control. When they had told me he was coming, I said ‘OK,’ and obviously, there’s been stuff about me being moved to other places. With all this kind of up in the air right now, my thing is, as long as I’m a Knick, just to be professional. I don’t know what can happen today or tomorrow or next week or the week after that. Every day that I’m here I’m always going to be all in.”

The Knicks got Terrance Ferguson, a former Thunder first-round pick in 2017, in return. New York also sent Ignas Brazdeikis to Philadelphia and picked up Vincent Poirier and two future second-round picks.

Drummond to the Knicks?

Meanwhile, Kevin O’ Connor of The Ringer reported that the Knicks are a serious landing spot for Andre Drummond on Wednesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still trying to find a trade for Drummond, a former two-time All-star and a four-time rebounding leader.

The Knicks only need $13.7 million in salary to trade for Drummond.

But a better scenario for the Knicks is if Drummond is bought out, they can lure him a multi-year deal which he will likely prefer than what contenders Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers can offer.

In this scenario, the Knicks can offer Drummond a pro-rated four-year, $64-million deal, according to The Athletic’s front office insider and former Memphis Grizzlies executive John Hollinger.

Drummond is a Mount Vernon native but considers Middletown, Connecticut, as his home, which is only a 15-minute drive from New Britain, Connecticut, where Tom Thibodeau hails.

Thibodeau coached Drummond in the 2014 FIBA World Cup as an assistant coach of the Team USA that won the gold.

Drummond also played for Thibodeau’s good friend, Jim Calhoun, in college. Thibodeau used to visit Calhoun’s practices in the Northeast. Drummond considers his UConn coach as one of his best friends.

The Knicks can also pivot to another asset accumulation move as a third team to use their $15 million cap space.

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Knicks Update: Conflicting Andre Drummond trade reports creating confusion

New York Knicks, Andre Drummond

With the NBA trade deadline less than 24 hours away, the New York Knicks have several internal conflicts regarding a potential trade for center Andre Drummond. Drummond is currently featuring on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the team has currently been Tim as a try to work a trade out before the deadline. Averaging 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and averaging 28.9 minutes per game, there is still value to the veteran big man.

While Drummond is essentially useless as a shooter and hosts a terrible free-throw conversion rate (.597), he is still fantastic in the paint and dominant around the rim.

While his services might benefit the Knicks for the remainder of the season, giving up assets for him might be a bit of a reach.

Per Ian Begley of SNY:

There is at least one prominent voice among the Knicks who is in favor of acquiring Drummond. But, per SNY sources, a majority of organization doesn’t see Drummond as a fit.

As of earlier this week, the Knicks were hesitant toward acquiring Drummond, but things might be changing as the hours close in on the deadline. Kevin O’Connor believes that New York is emerging as a serious contender for Andre, who is still a capable player at 27 years old.

Conflicting reports doesn’t offer us any clarity regarding the situation, and there is reason to believe the Knicks might not make a big splash at all before the deadline. They have been connected to various of names, including Bradley Beal, Lonzo Ball, and more.

Drummond seems like the more realistic of the bunch, considering Cleveland is trying to get rid of him for a measly place since they will likely release him alternatively. He is due $28.7 million this season, but with the Knicks having about $15 million available in salary cap space, they could theoretically make the trade work. They would have to move about $14 million to acquire Drummond, and while they have the funds, it becomes a matter of chemistry and if he’s even worth acquiring.

Tom Thibodeau likes his pairing of Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel, and adding a player who will undoubtedly steal minutes could be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Knicks Injury Update: Mitchell Robinson cleared to practice

Mitchell Robinson

The New York Knicks have thrived and managed to get to as high as the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference without Mitchell Robinson. But after losing three of their last four since the All-Star break, the Knicks desperately need help to finish games.

While Robinson could still be weeks away from returning, his recovery progress has been encouraging.

The Knicks’ young center was seen at team practices and pre-game routines doing some light work without a cast in the last few days. New York coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed that Robinson had been cleared for non-contact drills. The next step for him is to go through practice.

“I know he’s been evaluated. He can get [contact], but not game contact yet,” Thibodeau said after the Knicks’ 99-96 loss in Philadelphia.

Robinson has missed the Knicks’ last 14 games. New York won eight during his absence, relying on Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson and sometimes playing Julius Randle as a small-ball center.

The Knicks were also rumored to be shopping for a big man linking them to Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond and Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner.

But it was unclear whether those interests came before or after Robinson went down with an injury. Robinson underwent surgery last February 16 to repair a fracture in his right hand.

It seems his hand has been healing well.

“There’s a progression to what he goes through. Everything looks good,” Thibodeau said.

Initially, Robinson was projected to miss four to six weeks. He’s now on the fifth week of recovery.

“He’s done a lot of running on the court—that sort of thing and ball handling with the left hand. And now, the next phase is for him to go through practice. Take contact there, and we all know the intensity of the game is a lot different than practice. That will be the next step, and then once he clears that, he’ll be ready to go,” Thibodeau said.

There’s no definite timetable yet for his return.

Can the Knicks afford more time to wait for him, or will they pull the trigger on a trade to bring in frontcourt help for their playoff push?

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With Drummond, Turner on Knicks’ radar, what does this mean for Robinson?

First, it was Andre Drummond. Now it’s Myles Turner.

A day after Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the New York Knicks‘ interest in Andre Drummond, Indy Star’s J. Michael further fueled speculations that the Knicks are indeed shopping for an established big man.

Michael added the Knicks into a group that includes the two Los Angeles teams, Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans, which inquired on Turner’s availability.

Turner is in the second year of a four-year, $80-million deal with $70 million guaranteed money.

The Indiana Pacers, though, aren’t shopping Turner, according to Michael’s report, despite making him available in the offseason in a Gordon Hayward deal with the Boston Celtics that was stalled.

Nevertheless, the story only raised questions about Mitchell Robinson’s future with the Knicks.

It is unclear if the Knicks’ interest in Drummond and Turner began after Robinson went down with a broken hand.

Robinson has firmly established himself as a starter this season after a shaky start with Tom Thibodeau.

Before Robinson’s injury, he was the bedrock of the Knicks’ defense, which was ranked third in the league at that time. Thibodeau has been effusive in his praise for the young big man.

But Thibodeau also didn’t hide in his interviews that he’s seeking established players that can help him win in the league.

“I have a strong bias towards good players. I know they (front office) are looking at all the possibilities. If something makes sense for us, we’ll do it. If not, I love the team that we have. I love the guys that we have on the team,” Thibodeau said last week when asked about the Knicks’ plans as the March 25 trade deadline approaches.

Drummond is the league’s leading rebounder and a two-time NBA All-Star, while Turner has been leading the league in shot blocks since last season. Both are better players than Robinson at this stage of their careers. Between Drummond and Turner, the latter fits more the Knicks’ young core as he will only turn 25 this month. Drummond is three years older.

If the Knicks will be successful in bringing either of them or a player of their caliber, what will happen to Robinson?

Will he be amenable to slide back to the bench, or will the Knicks shop him?

Robinson is on a team-friendly contract with a $1.8 million team option for next season. If the Knicks exercise that option, they can have Robinson for another season backing up or competing for minutes with whoever they bring in. But they could also lose him for nothing via free agency in 2022 unless they flip him in next year’s trade deadline.

There’s also a better scenario for the Knicks, which ESPN Front Office Insider Bobby Marks suggested:

“To protect themselves long term, the smart thing is to decline the option and give Robinson a qualifying offer. That would make him a restricted free agent, and because of his low $2.1 million cap hold, New York can use cap space first and then circle back to sign him,” Marks wrote.

The Knicks will have roughly $45 million cap space this summer.

The next eight days and even this summer will be interesting for Robinson and the Knicks.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks News: Why adding Andre Drummond could hurt Julius Randle

New York Knicks, Andre Drummond

The New York Knicks are reportedly “explored the possibility” of a trade regarding star center Andre Drummond, but would it be a positive move?

With Mitchell Robinson missing time due to a fractured hand, the Knicks have rolled with Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson as their primary centers. Noel has been the primary starter but didn’t score a single point against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday evening in a competitive contest. Gibson landed just four, giving a perspective into the lack of offensive efficiency at the center position. A player like Drummond would inject a significantly better scorer into the spot, offering the Knicks a more dynamic body in the paint.

This season, Drummond is averaging 17.5 points, 2.6 assists, 13.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. He is averaging 28.9 minutes — if you add his offensive production to the Knicks, the team would likely witness a dramatic probability increase in wins. However, Drummond’s impact on other players must be considered, especially for guys like Julius Randle, who make a living driving to the basket.

Ian Begley reports that one team official doesn’t think Drummond would be a good fit for the Knicks because of Julius Randle:

“I don’t love it for Randle,” the team said. “Drummond plays close to the rim, so you’re limiting what Randle can do. Long-term, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

This is a valid argument, as Drummond demands the ball down low and utilizes his big 6-foot-10 frame to muscle the ball into the basket. Randle has a similar aggressive style, but signing him is still worth consideration.

The idea would be that Drummond is bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers, signing with New York afterward on a multi-year extension. Of course, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have both been connected to the star center, but the Knicks could use his scoring production, even if Randle is slightly affected by his presence.

What could Andre Drummond cost the Knicks? Is he worth the price?

New York Knicks, Andre Drummond

With starting center Mitchell Robinson still on the recovery from his fractured right hand surgery, the New York Knicks have done their due diligence on Cleveland Cavaliers’ big man Andre Drummond.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Knicks have explored the possibility of adding Drummond, a four-time NBA rebounding leader and a two-time All-Star, for their playoff chase.

Charania added that the Knicks are mulling a multi-year deal to lure Drummond from going elsewhere. Title contenders Los Angeles Lakers and the Knicks’ crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets are believed to be potential destinations for Drummond should he enter a buyout agreement and becomes a free agent.

The Knicks, however, can also outright eliminate other suitors if they trade for Drummond, and it will probably cost them a second-round pick and/or two of three salary fillers from their expendable players like Austin Rivers, Frank Ntilikina, or even Kevin Knox. The Cavaliers are believed to be seeking an asset in return for Drummond.

But if the Knicks wanted to join the Drummond sweepstakes via buyout, what can they offer in a multi-year deal to pry him away from the minimum deal that comes with the glittery promise of a Larry O’Brien trophy in Los Angeles or Brooklyn?

Drummond’s market price

ESPN Front Office Insider and former Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks gave us an idea of Drummond’s price range in the open market.

“He’s a $15-17 million player,” Marks told Empire Sports Media.

But he’s also skeptical if he’ll be worth it since he believes Drummond won’t be a major upgrade from Robinson.

“They are a first-round [playoff] team right now,” Marks said. And he answered with an emphatic “No” when asked if Drummond gives the Knicks a better shot of advancing deeper in the playoffs.

At a bare minimum, the Knicks can use Drummond as insurance for Robinson [if he’ll be out longer than expected] as they navigate the third toughest schedule in the second half.

Drummond averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 25 games for the Cavaliers before he was shut down.

In contrast, Robinson was averaging 8.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 2.1 blocks before he went down with an injury last month. Backup center Nerlens Noel is averaging 6.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks since he took over from Robinson.

Risk-cost benefit

When Robinson comes back at full health, Tom Thibodeau would have more options.

If he wants to generate more offense from the post, he could roll with the more offensively-polished Drummond. But if he wants rim protection, Robinson could have more value on the court. This could make Noel expendable and move Taj Gibson further down the rotation.

Drummond will be a bigger weapon to have against Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo or the firepower-heavy Nets in a potential first-round playoff series. But as Marks suggested, Drummond won’t push the Knicks over the first-round hump.

However, the bigger concern would be the risk of drilling a hole in the already solid Knicks’ chemistry.

Drummond could eat into the Knicks’ lone post threat Julius Randle’s usage rate on top of potentially rubbing Robinson the wrong way. Unless the Knicks intend to flip Robinson into a major backcourt upgrade such as Lonzo Ball or in a larger package for an All-Star level guard like Bradley Beal or Victor Oladipo, Leon Rose and his shrewd front office could be on to something.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Should the New York Knicks trade for Andre Drummond?

New York Knicks, Andre Drummond

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.