Andre Drummond would consider the New York Knicks after his buyout, but should they be interested in him?
The New York Knicks are said to be one of five teams being considered by André Drummond, the biggest name in the buyout market. The two-time All-Star is looking for a new team after his time at Cleveland ends.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Drummond will be listening to pitches from the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Celtics and Hornets – all teams that are currently in the playoffs.
Yahoo Sources: Andre Drummond will listen to pitches from the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets.
– Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) 26 mars 2021
Both Los Angeles teams offer Drummond the best chance of winning a title, but he will likely have a bigger role if he ends up with one of the Eastern Conference teams.
The Knicks can pay Drummond more than any other team on this list. In fact, there are advantages to signing Drummond a contract for the remaining $ 13.5 million in salary cap space.
As The Athletic’s John Hollinger notes, the Knicks could act as an “over the cap” team during the offseason and give them more financial flexibility. Chances are, Knicks vice-president and chief strategist Brock Aller will know that, too.
Why Drummond makes sense
There’s a reason up to five playoff teams are going to nominate Drummond for his service: he’s talented. It’s impossible to doubt his ability even though the game itself seems to evolve without him.
Slow, tough big men are a rarity in the NBA, but Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is an old school guy. He figured out how to unlock franchise cornerstones like Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson. If a trainer can figure out the best way to use Drummond, chances are it’s Thibs.
The Knicks are already ninth in offensive and defensive rebound percentage. Drummond, quadruple rebound champion, would make the Knicks elite in this category. If Drummond redeems – and we assume he will if he chooses to sign with the Knicks – Thibodeau might be the best coach for him.
Why Drummond makes no sense
There are a few red flags with Drummond’s signature. First off, the Knicks already have solid center depth. This was tested when Robinson broke his hand and missed 15 games, a stretch where New York compiled a 9-6 record.
Nerlens Noel stepped into the starting role and the Knicks didn’t miss a beat. Meanwhile, Taj Gibson was going like a glove on the second unit. Even Julius Randle took a few minutes out of the five after Gibson joined Robinson on the injury report.
There is no desperate need for the job and while Drummond is talented enough to make an impact, he won’t put the Knicks at the top as a real contender.
Ironically, the fact that Drummond is carving out a major role in the rotation actually hurts his case to sign with the Knicks. While it might not seem like it from his box-scoring stats, Robinson is taking another leap forward in his development this year. Its blocks are down, but it’s a real defensive anchor that can stabilize a defense.
Drummond and Robinson could share the minutes equally, but things don’t always go so well. Robinson’s minutes suffering because of Drummond wouldn’t be the best thing for the Knicks in the long run.
A similar argument was made regarding Emmanuel Quickley’s minutes when the Knicks acquired Derrick Rose. Quickley’s minutes have actually increased since acquiring Rose, but there are a few major differences with these situations.
On the one hand, Rose has missed nine straight games so we still don’t know exactly which rotations Thibodeau will favor. However, more importantly, there are only 48 minutes total for crosses. Thibodeau can mix and match the minutes with Rose and Quickley on the floor together. There is no universe where the Knicks could play Drummond and Robinson together.
The Knicks offer Drummond a place to rebuild himself before free will, but so do the Lakers and Clippers, two teams where he would also have a legitimate shot at winning a ring.
Obviously, there are a ton of variables at play as Drummond’s situation evolves.