NBA trade deadline: Griffin to Nets, Lakers showing interest in Drummond if bought out

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Erik García Gundersen
·3 min read
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There are now 17 days until the NBA trade deadline on March 25 and teams across the league are already making moves to improve their chances of winning the NBA championship heading into this summer’s playoffs. The Brooklyn Nets officially landed the biggest player to hit the market on Monday as they announced their signing of six-time All-Star Blake Griffin.

The Lakers were one of several teams to show an interest in Griffin, but Griffin ultimately chose to team up with the Nets, who have looked every bit the part of championship favorite ever since adding James Harden and Kyrie Irving’s decision to publicly announce Harden as the team’s point guard.

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So what will the Lakers do to answer? Because as it stands without Anthony Davis, LeBron is doing all of the heavy lifting, and James is doing increasingly more playing as a big man on defense as Davis is out. While nobody would wish for it, the Lakers do have to prepare for a playoff run without Davis if his calf/Achilles injury requires long-term recovery. This is why the Lakers are showing interest in Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

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Of course, Cavaliers general manager is always on the search for value and will not give up Drummond without exhausting every minute and every option to get something for him. But what makes this challenge even harder for Altman is that Altman himself gave up only a second-round pick for Drummond last year.

Drummond is only 27 and an incredible rebounder, in addition to having scoring prowess and some underrated playmaking ability. If he could play with LeBron James, it would definitely unlock a different part of his game playing with someone of LeBron’s caliber, something he’s never gotten to do.

But with Drummond’s salary this season being above $27 million, few teams across the league have the requisite salary to make a Drummond trade. The Boston Celtics, with a trade exception above $30 million might be the only team in the league who could swoop in to take Drummond before he hits the market. But whether they will is another matter entirely. The Lakers, judging by the latest chatter, are hoping the Celtics and other potential Drummond suitors have other priorities.

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