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Cavaliers GM Koby Altman doesn't want the team to be bad forever. He doesn't want the Cavs to keep losing, to only focus on one aspect of developing young players, to feel disappointed night after thankless night.

Those reasons and more are behind the Cavs' trade with Detroit for massive center Andre Drummond.

"I think it's hard to go completely young and be non-competitive," Altman said. "That's not what we're about. I tell our coaching staff and our players every game, go out there and try to win."

Altman may say that, but the bottom line is the Cavs are 13-39 under first-time NBA coach John Beilein -- one season after finishing 19-63. 

That is where Drummond comes in. He is 26-years old, has been in the league since 2012-13. He has been to the playoffs with the Pistons. He averages 17.8 points and a league-leading 15.8 rebounds.

Drummond isn't necessarily a great on-ball defender, but man, can he protect the basket. He clogs the middle. He makes opposing guards (and some big men) think twice about going to the basket.

He immediately makes the Cavs deeper and better, and that is indeed the reason Altman made the deal.

"I do want our guys to develop playing competitive, meaningful basketball," Altman said. "This addition adds to that."

Now, the Cavs just need to figure out what to do with everyone else. They basically got Drummond for nothing, sending the expiring contracts of John Henson and Brandon Knight (and a second-round pick) back to the Pistons.

But Tristan Thompson is still on the team and he has been the Cavs' starting center. The Cavs talked to a lot of teams about Thompson at the trade deadline but were unable to move him.

So what now?

Thompson indicated he's excited about the Drummond addition, saying his initial reaction to the trade was, "Damn, it's a f---ing steal."

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With an expiring contract, Thompson becomes a free agent at the end of the season. There have not been any firm decisions on what do about that, as the Cavs and Thompson will  just have to let things play out.


Same goes with Drummond to a lesser degree. He has a $29 million player option on his contract at the end of the year. A league source told he expects to exercise the option and views the Cavs as a viable long-term fit.

That would be just fine with the Cavs. Despite some popular opinion, they are not viewing Drummond as a piece merely to flip for more draft picks. Both sides want this to work.

The Cavs also have Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. among the main men up front. They explored several trade scenarios involving Love, but again, the return was said to be minimal. 

After what appeared to be a falling out earlier this season, Love and the Cavs seemingly have come back together. Love shares an agent with Drummond and said he can't wait to line up next to him. The two have spoken since the trade.

Altman said the Cavs' desire to compete is a big reason Love is still with the team.

"It's why we kept Kevin," Altman said. “We remain steadfast in his value and what he means to us. He's a part of that. Kevin has been phenomenal this year."

As for Love's blowups at shootaround and on the bench in early January, Altman said it's ancient history.

"It's not easy, right? The losses are tough," Altman said. "It gets frustrating at times. We've seen that from Kevin. I think he rebounded phenomenally from a couple of blowups and he's our best player."

Along with everything else, it will be up to Beilein to figure out how to use Drummond and Thompson, how to find minutes for Nance, how to make sure all these bigs complement young guards Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.

The Cavs are willing to be patient while all that happens. But that doesn't mean they want to be bad.

"So definitely, (the Drummond trade was) well-thought out in terms of who we want around during this time and how they help us," Altman said.