wsls logo

Cavs buy out Drummond, center eyes signing with contender

FILE - In this Feb 5, 2021, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond drives the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Cleveland. Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers. Drummond, who has not played since mid-February, began negotiating terms of the buyout with the Cavs on Thursday, March 25, 2021, after the club could not trade the 27-year-old. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
FILE - In this Feb 5, 2021, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond drives the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Cleveland. Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers. Drummond, who has not played since mid-February, began negotiating terms of the buyout with the Cavs on Thursday, March 25, 2021, after the club could not trade the 27-year-old. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

CLEVELAND – Center Andre Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers.

Drummond, who hasn't played since mid-February, began negotiating terms of the buyout with the Cavs on Thursday after the club didn't trade the 27-year-old before the deadline.

The agreement ends a partnership that became awkward when the Cavs benched Drummond to give young center Jarrett Allen more playing time.

Despite losing his role with the team, Drummond, a two-time All-Star with Detroit before coming to Cleveland last year, stayed engaged with his teammates and didn't become a distraction. He often sat among the Cavs coaches during games, offering tips and encouragement.

“I want to thank Andre for his contributions to our team both on and off the court, and for his professionalism and mutual cooperation as we navigated through this process with him and his representation,” said general manager Koby Altman. “We have great respect for Andre as a person and a player here in Cleveland and we are happy to have reached an outcome that is in the best interest of both Andre and our team."

One of the NBA's top rebounders and a proven scorer, Drummond, who was under contract for $28.7 million this season, is expected to draw interest from several teams, including the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers.

He averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games before the Cavs decided to give Allen the bulk of playing time.

Drummond twice made the playoffs with the Pistons, who selected him with the ninth overall pick in 2012.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports