Cavs coach Bickerstaff planning as if Drummond will return

Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff answers questions at a recent press conference. (Photo by Sam Amico)

One thing Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff is not doing this offseason is planning for a future without center Andre Drummond.

Some might call that risky, considering Drummond can opt out of his contract and enter free agency. The contract calls for him to earn $28.75 next season should he pick up the option. He has given no firm indication on what he will do.

Either way, it’s wise to only believe free agents when their name is signed on the dotted line.

“I have not asked him, ‘Hey man, are you opting in or opting out?’ But the conversations we’ve had have been positive,” Bickerstaff said in an exclusive interview with Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “Indirectly those conversations have been about the future, what next year is going to look like, how he wants to be part of the team and how we can use him effectively and all those things.”

Drummond appeared in just eight games for the Cavs after being acquired from the Pistons in a February trade. He averaged 17.7 points and an NBA-leading 15.2 rebounds on the season.

“He’s going to make his choice known whenever he’s going to make his choice known,” Bickerstaff said. “I know he’s made public comments. We’ve had no conversations about him not being here and we’ve been planning for the future with him.

“Again, I have not started to plan without him. I will leave it at that. If we need to make an adjustment we can. But we will have plenty of time do that.”

The Cavs finished 19-46, but went 5-6 after Bickerstaff took over as coach in February. They have won just four playoff series in 50 seasons without LeBron James on the team.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of FortyEight Minutes. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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