On Monday, news broke that the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to trade Andre Drummond ahead of this season's trade deadline on March 25.
While ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there are "no serious, ongoing trade discussions with any team now," The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the Toronto Raptors have "engaged in active talks" with the Cavaliers on a potential deal for the two-time All-Star.
What would it take for the Raptors to acquire Drummond? Let's take a closer look.
Who would the Raptors have to trade for Andre Drummond?
The Raptors would have to match salaries to acquire Drummond, which wouldn't be easy considering he's making $28.8 million this season.
Assuming Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby are off-limits, Toronto's best bet at putting together a package for Drummond would be building something around Norman Powell and Aron Baynes. Those two alone wouldn't be enough - Powell and Baynes get the Raptors to $17.9 million and they'd need to send out at least $22.9 million to acquire Drummond, per The Athletic's Blake Murphy - but it's a starting point.
If the Raptors wouldn't be willing to give up Powell in addition to Siakam, VanVleet, Lowry and Anunoby, they'd have to include as many as five players to make the math work.
Worth noting: Chris Boucher, who is on the books for $6.5 million this season, can't be traded until after March 3.
That brings up a question as to how much the Raptors would give up for Drummond, which is made all the more complicated by his contract situation.
What is Andre Drummond's contract situation?
Drummond signed a five-year, $130 million deal with the Detroit Pistons in 2016. He had a player option in his contract for the 2020-21 season that he picked up, so he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
With LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo no longer on the table, Drummond is set to be one of the best free agents available in 2021. Because there are a number of teams that are set to have cap space, some of which could have a need for a centre, the Raptors would run the risk of Drummond walking for nothing at the end of the season if they were to acquire him.
Of course, the Raptors would have the option of re-signing Drummond if there was mutual interest.
Drummond might not sign a contract similar to the one he did with the Pistons in 2016, but he could drive a hard bargain in free agency depending on how much interest there is for him around the league.
What is the Raptors cap sheet moving forward?
The Raptors have Siakam, VanVleet and Anunoby under contract for the foreseeable future. The two biggest question marks are Lowry and Powell.
Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent at the season's end and Powell has an $11.6 player option in his contract for the 2021-22 season, giving him the option of being an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
If the Raptors were to acquire Drummond without giving up Lowry or Powell, it would make for a complicated offseason where the three of them would be up for a new contract.
Should the Raptors trade for Andre Drummond?
The centre position is Toronto's biggest question mark right now. Boucher has been a revelation this season, but he lacks the size to match up with the league's best centres. Baynes does have the size to match up with the league's best centres, but he hasn't lived up to expectations on either end of the court.
While Drummond is far from perfect, he'd bring some size and athleticism to a position of need for the Raptors, giving them one of the league's best rebounders, a solid rim-runner and a capable defender when he's locked-in, as well as a capable passer from the elbows.
Having turned 27 years old in August, Drummond is also younger than both Boucher, 28, and Baynes, 34.
Drummond would likely help the Raptors short-term, but whether or not he's the long-term answer is up for debate. Is a core of VanVleet, Siakam, Anunoby and Drummond a recipe for future success in the Eastern Conference?
Alternatively, the Raptors could pursue a different centre in free agency or the trade market or target one in the draft.
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