As we get closer to the NBA trade deadline rumors are going to begin to pop up everywhere. You can expect to see a lot of rumors surrounding the Chicago Bulls. The team is young and has multiple trade assets so it won’t be surprising to see them thrown into trade rumors. One of the most recent rumors to come out surrounds Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 4, 2021
It’s not a surprise to hear the Bulls thrown into a trade rumor surrounding a center. Outside of center Wendell Carter Jr., the Bulls have struggled at that position. Drummond has been shut down by the Cavaliers since the middle of February. The Cavs plan to move him and didn’t want to risk any sort of injury prior to doing so. Would Drummond on the Bulls make sense? What would the team have to give up to get him? Let’s dive into it and take a look.
Drummond’s stats this year
Drummond has played in 25 games this season and in those games, he is averaging 17.5 PPG, 47.4 %FG, 13.5 RPG, & 1.2 BPG. His stats don’t look half bad this season. He’s always been a beast when it comes to rebounding as he has averaged 13.8 RPG over his career. While he’s averaging 17.5 PPG he isn’t doing it in an efficient way.
Getting to Rim x Finishing at Rim
Which 2020-21 players are creating their own shots at the rim the most and converting at the rim (difficulty adjusted) best?
— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) February 25, 2021
Drummond is the best in the NBA at getting to the rim this season but he’s also the worst in terms of finishing at the rim. He’s attempting around 15 shots per game currently but based on the stats available he should be converting a lot more than he is. If he was even middle of the pack with his finishing he would most likely be averaging somewhere in the mid-20s per game. Drummond is a very solid player at the center position especially when it comes to rebounding. There’s a lot to dissect with Drummonds game and his fit but first, let’s look at what the Bulls would have to give up.
What would this trade take?
The most likely trade package that I’ve seen floating around is a straight-up trade with forward Otto Porter Jr. for Andre Drummond.
Both of their contracts are pretty much the same and they will both be unrestricted free agents after this season. This would leave both teams in a position to back out if things don’t work out. It’s possible the Cavaliers might be trying to get something else out of this move and want a draft pick or a young prospect. However, the Cavs seem like they want Drummond out so if the Bulls come knocking with Porter Jr. the Cavs may just take it.
Would this trade be worth it?
Here’s where things get a little bit tricky. The Bulls already have their starting center in Carter Jr. They like him and want to stick with him. It’s highly doubtful that Drummond would be okay with being a backup. It would be a matter of who the Bulls believe has more upside. Carter Jr. is currently averaging 12.3 PPG, 53.5 %FG, 7.3 RPG, & 0.8 BPG. So the addition of Drummond would certainly boost the rebounding numbers for this team. Carter Jr. has shown some significant improvement since coming back from injury and this Bulls team is looking much better over that span. I don’t see a scenario where the Bulls value Drummond over Carter Jr. I also don’t see a scenario where Drummond is okay being a backup center for this team.
Drummond would be fine as a backup center, he’s the same height as Carter with an inch more wingspan. But he’s already unhappy being a backup with the Cavs, and he’s not better than Carter. I don’t see him wanting the same role here, and this team has bigger needs
— Kris Amundsen (@klahoops) March 4, 2021
With all of that being said the thing here is this would essentially be a low-risk move for the Bulls. Porter jr. has been plagued by injuries and hasn’t played a ton. The Bulls will be getting an expiring contract with Drummond so if it doesn’t work out they aren’t on the hook for anything. They would be giving themselves depth at the center position if Drummond is willing to be a backup. If he isn’t then this deal would only cause issues for this Bulls team.
The Bulls should go through with this trade IF Drummond is okay with taking a backup role. If all the team has to give up is Porter Jr. and possibly a second-round pick this should be a no-brainer. He would add much-needed scoring off the bench from the center position and he would also help improve the Bull’s middle-of-the-pack rebounding numbers. If things don’t work out then you let him walk in a few months.
If he isn’t willing to be a backup then stay as far away from this trade as you can. Unless Wendell isn’t their guy we shouldn’t be trading for someone who wants to be the starting center on a team. The Bulls don’t need anyone in their locker room messing up the culture head coach Billy Donovan is trying to create. The Bulls will need to do their due diligence here before sending any sort of trade offer.