DALLAS - Slowly but surely, Dallas Mavericks observers are coming around on Andre Drummond, once upon a time declaring him "too expensive'' and "too old-fashioned'' (in terms of his "traditional center'' style of play).
And suddenly, the target we've written about so often seems a little less silly to the naysayers.
The Ringer is the latest to agree with our thinking that while Dallas whispers "no'' on the idea ... they are wise to wonder if there is a reason, and then a way, to say "yes.''
The Mavs have at different times this year conceded that they have a real "rebounding problem,'' to use the words of head coach Rick Carlisle.
Why, therefore, is there such public opposition to trading for Drummond?
We've argued for quite some time that the Mavs front office should start surveying the NBA landscape for potential trade targets capable of helping that weakness, and we've argued that Cleveland’s Andre Drummond should be - in terms of not having to sacrifice major assets - at the top of that list.
A year ago, the Mavs were connected to Drummond in NBA trade rumors. Those rumors were shot down by the Mavs, with one ‘high-ranking Mavs official’ telling the Dallas Morning News than Drummond just didn’t make sense for them.
Fast-forward to today — meaning no disrespect to the high-ranking Mavs official or to the Morning News - and Drummond suddenly seems to make even more sense for this Mavs team than he did in previous rumors, especially since he’s now on an expiring contract.
For his career, Drummond averages 14 points and 14 rebounds per game. Drummond may not be the best defender, and he may not be the most versatile offensive player due to his lack of shooting, but there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to get from him in high volume on a nightly basis — rebounding.
Although the 27-year-old has his limitations in that he is that aforementioned "traditional'' center, there’s something to be said about the talent he’s played with so far in his career as well.
Just like was the case with Tim Hardaway Jr. coming to Dallas from New York, third-year superstar Luka Doncic would be, by far, the best point guard Drummond has ever played with.
The fit with Kristaps Porzingis, is questionable for sure. (Of course, he sure would help on those nights when KP is sitting). But ask yourselves this question: Would you rather rely on Dwight Powell or Andre Drummond as one of your most featured bigs?
Word now is that Cleveland might be willing to take a second-round pick (plus) for him. We can envision Dallas being unwilling to include Powell into a deal, but the Mavs have James Johnson's $15 million expiring - and they darn sure better use it between now and the late-March NBA trade deadline.
Does Johnson and a second-rounder get Cleveland to listen?
Drummond’s trade value is so low that the Cavs might just release him. Could Dallas grab him then? Wait for a buyout? We bet in that circumstance, Drummond getting to pick his team, he might hook up with the Nets. Or the Clippers. Or the Lakers. In which case, Dallas might be playing against him in the NBA Playoffs.
If he's good enough to help the Lakers and the Clippers, to "fit'' with the Clippers, why wouldn't he do the same for rebounding-starved Dallas?