CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from March 10, 2021.
As Thursday's NBA trade deadline approaches, Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond remains one of the biggest available names.
But while the Dallas Mavericks have reportedly inquired about acquiring the two-time All-Star, it appears that Drummond's most likely destination is the buyout market.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavericks recently "explored discussions on a trade with the Cavaliers" for Drummond that failed to result in a deal. Instead, Charania says it's more likely that if Drummond is going to land in Dallas, it will be via a contract buyout following the trade deadline on March 25.
The Mavericks, however, will have plenty of competition for Drummond, who has also been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets since being publically placed on the trade block last month. Despite averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games, the 6-foot-11 center hasn't played in a game since Feb. 12, with the Cavs having made their intentions to trade him clear.
While the interest from the Mavericks, Lakers, Nets and Toronto Raptors would indicate a robust trade market for the UConn product, his $28.75 million salary for this season appears to be a sticking point. Due to NBA trade rules, any team acquiring Drummond would have to send back salary that relatively matches what they'd be receiving, creating a complicated trade market for Cleveland.
As a result, it appears that the Cavs will either release or buyout Drummond unless they manage to find a trade before Thursday's deadline. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, should that occur, the Lakers will be his likeliest destination as a free agent.