After trading away a young prodigy in Jarrett Allen, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves in search of a replacement center for their wishful championship run. A big man for the rest of the season, and possibly for the long-term, is evidently their final piece in forming this championship roster. Over the course of the past week or so, many different reliable and respected sources around the league say that Cleveland Cavaliers’ center, Andre Drummond, will be seeking a buyout sometime soon. Many look to the Nets as the next possible destination for Drummond. Some sources even say that “it’s only a matter of time” until Andre Drummond requests a buyout and signs with the contending Brooklyn Nets.
Questionable fit for Brooklyn
The identity for Brooklyn is clear and apparent at this point in the season. In the midst of the first quarter of the 2020-2021 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets have made it clear that they are an extremely up-tempo team. Along with their fast pace, the Nets take and make a lot of shots, especially three-pointers. They have also shown that as a squad, they have little to no defense, at least consistently. Brooklyn’s defensive rating is one of the worst throughout the whole league, with a bottom 5 defensive rating (25th in the league).
Their presence in the paint has been lacking ever since the blockbuster 4-team trade that sent elite rim protector Jarrett Allen to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though receiving the best shooting guard in the NBA in James Harden, who also is arguably one of the most skilled talents that the NBA has ever seen, the Nets have still been struggling on the defensive side. Having Drummond, a veteran big man and a 2x NBA Allstar that is still in his prime at just 27 years old, would help the Nets immensely, especially with their weak interior defense. This Nets team acquiring Andre Drummond would most definitely be a positive for them, however, this may come with some negative effects as well.
The major issues that could arise with Drummond joining the Nets are his ego and how to manage it, and if he can and find his role on the team. Just like Harden, he has to take a few games to find his niche on the stacked Brooklyn Nets team. Harden altered his game for the team while staying the same great player. If Andre Drummond can do that too, he will fit nicely in a black and white jersey.
What Andre Drummond can bring to the Nets
How can a big man that can’t shoot threes, mid-range shots, or free throws fit on the Nets? Well, the Nets being a high volume shooting and a high scoring team may not fit with Drummond’s style of play offensively, but that is not what he would be brought in for. His defense, presence, and rebounding would bold well for the Nets. This is all he needs to do. Although, the big man does have a post-up game and can drive to the rack. Along with his amazing athleticism, he can score inside at will using his body and pure strength. A huge underrated part about Andre Drummond’s game is his ability to throw down effortless dunks and alley-oops.
Having guys like Kyrie Irving and James Harden throwing the big man lobs would be a huge part of the Nets’ offense. Their passing ability could lead to easier looks for Drummond and an even more efficient offense for the team itself. If Andre Drummond buys in and plays his part in the team’s success, this could be a very successful signing. His defensive presence, overall intensity, NBA experience, and stellar rebounding would help with all of the Nets’ main problems this season.
What this means for DeAndre Jordan
Andre Drummond is averaging a career-high at 18.5 points per game this season, along with 15.1 rebounds per game. It seems like Drummond would then likely start for the Nets then if he were to play for them. However, could he possibly come off the bench for Brooklyn? This all depends on coach Steve Nash’s rotations and game-time decisions. Drummond’s minutes and role would also be influenced by how he synergizes with his potential teammates. DeAndre Jordan may come off the bench due to Drummond being the potential candidate for Brooklyn’s open roster spot. If this happens, I expect to see Jordan’s minutes to be reduced little by little. However, DeAndre Jordan’s effect on the team and locker room voice would still be a positive impact on the Nets.
As of right now, DeAndre should not be worried about his minutes or team impact. He will not be pushed to the side, especially that he is close with all 3 of the Nets’ stars. Deandre Jordan starting or not will be the same big man he is today. This possible future signing of Andre Drummond will mostly affect his own gameplay and the team. More likely than not, the big man joining this Nets squad would benefit them. Even with Drummond, we would see DeAndre Jordan’s game be unchanged.
Trade Deadline Approaching
It only makes sense that the Nets would be willing to sign Andre Drummond in the next couple of weeks. Due to the Cavaliers having an abundance of centers on the team, and Jarrett Allen looking to regain a starting center position, the Cavs may look to make him their new franchise big man. With Allen at the helm, Andre Drummond may look to move on from the Cavs and request a buyout or trade. With the NBA trade deadline coming up on March 25th, the Cavaliers have just under two months to figure out Drummond’s situation in Cleveland. Brooklyn is now waiting patiently as general manager Sean Marks forms a potential unstoppable team that yearns for a championship.