CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers were expected to move a big man. Instead, they added another one.
In the final hour before Thursday’s NBA trading deadline, Cleveland agreed to acquire two-time All-Star center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The Cavs will send forward John Henson, guard Brandon Knight and one of their two second-round picks in 2023 to the Pistons, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams were still working out some details and seeking league approval.
Cleveland, which is just 13-39 this season, was expected to be aggressive at the deadline and signs pointed to the Cavs moving either star forward Kevin Love or center Tristan Thompson, who is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent this summer.
However, Love and Thompson are staying put — for now— and will be joined up front by Drummond, a 6-foot-11 force who leads the league with 15.8 rebounds per game and averages 17.8 points and 1.7 blocks. He’ll immediately improve the Cavs, who have the league’s worst record, and he’ll take some of the pressure off Cleveland’s young guards as well as first-year coach John Beilein.
The Cavs have dropped 12 of 13.
The 26-year-old Drummond has a $28.7 million player option in his contract for next season. As long as he picks it up, Cleveland has another core player to build around along with young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
Henson had been injured during much of his stay with Cleveland. He joined the Cavs last season after being traded from Milwaukee.
Knight had an expiring contract and his role had been severely reduced with Cleveland turning toward Sexton and Garland as the foundation for its future.
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