Andre Drummond explains why he's decided to stay with Cavaliers

Andre Drummond was not happy about being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.

That doesn’t mean he’s about to scoff at nearly $29 million.

The Cavaliers center announced on Tuesday that he plans to exercise the player option on the final year of the five-year, $127 million contract he signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2016. That final year is the most lucrative, worth $28.75 million.

‘Definitely will be in Cleveland’

Drummond announced the decision on the “Le Batard & Friends STUpodity” podcast, according to ESPN.

“Yeah, it's going to be hard to give up, so you can count on me being in Cleveland still,” Drummond said. “ ... I definitely will be in Cleveland.”

Detroit traded Drummond to Cleveland at the trade deadline in February in exchange for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick. It’s fair to say that he was upset after being dealt to the last-place Cavaliers.

‘Trust no one’

He only played eight games with Cleveland before the NBA’s COVID-19 shutdown took effect. So what’s changed?

Nothing. He summed up his decision in his response to STUpodity. That money’s going to be “hard to give up.”

Andre Drummond is the same imposing post presence, but his skillset carries a different value in today's NBA. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Drummond’s value has shifted in evolved NBA

Drummond, 26, remains one of the basketball’s most imposing forces in the post. The three-time NBA rebounding champion leads the league once again this season while averaging 17.8 points, 15.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

The problem for Drummond is that the NBA has evolved dramatically since he signed his contract with Detroit, and his traditional post skillset isn’t valued nearly as much in a league that emphasizes small ball, shooting and spacing the floor. He’s not finding anything close to $28.75 million on the open market.

Drummond will be free to pursue a destination of his choosing after next season. In the meantime, he’s going to get paid.

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