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Knicks ‘analyzing’ potential Andre Drummond trade

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The Knicks are a surprising 3-2 since starting center Mitchell Robinson broke his right hand.

The new center tandem of Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson have provided rebounding and defense in those five games.

But the duo have combined to average just 11.4 points. As Tuesday’s loss to the Warriors showed, the Knicks still may need a scoring upgrade to remain in playoff position as Robinson mends into late March.

According to an NBA source who has been in touch with the Knicks, the club has made no decisions, but are “analyzing” whether making a play for on-the-block Cavaliers center Andre Drummond makes sense from a chemistry and winning standpoint. The Knicks are the NBA’s lowest-scoring team.

The Cavaliers are getting desperate as they shop Drummond, benched the last two weeks as they try to find him a new home. The Cavaliers are not believed to be seeking a high price.

One of the Knicks’ trove of second-round picks and an extraneous roster piece such as Austin Rivers or Frank Ntilikina, both out of the rotation and free agents this summer, probably would do the trick.

Andre Drummond trade block Cavaliers Knicks
Cavaliers center Andre Drummond on Jan. 11, 2021.
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The Knicks are the most flexible team to slip Drummond’s expiring $28 million contract onto their roster as they still have $15 million of cap space.

The Post has reported Drummond, 27, would consider the Knicks a solid destination as a Mount Vernon native. The Cavaliers, after an 8-8 start, are now all in on rebuilding around ex-Nets center Jarrett Allen, whom they acquired in the James Harden mega-deal.

Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks want to make the playoffs this season but are thin up front.

Thibodeau still hasn’t much used a smallball alignment with first-time All-Star Julius Randle at center and rookie Obi Toppin at power forward. Thibodeau has also mulled — but not employed — putting 3-point shooter Kevin Knox back into the rotation as a power forward with Randle at center.

Toppin looked good Tuesday, going 3 of 3 with a pretty alley-oop slam, a hook shot in the lane and a late 3-pointer.

Meanwhile, Drummond has been a double-double wrecking ball for years and is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds. His rebounding mark is second in the NBA.

Drummond’s field-goal percentage is 47.4 – which has analytics gurus concerned for a big man.

Some pundits wonder if spacing with Randle could be an issue as Drummond has only taken 21 field-goal attempts from more than 10 feet away from the rim, according to NBA.com. However, Robinson has taken zero shots from 10 feet away.

A trade for Drummond as a rental would also serve as a good experiment to see if Randle, now considered a long-term piece, has chemistry with Drummond, who’s a two-time All-Star but is considered an old-school center despite his improved passing and free-throw shooting.

Toronto was working on a deal for Drummond but the salary-cap mathematics are difficult. The Raptors would have to ship away multiple players. There’s talk Drummond could be bought out if no deal can be found.

One factor in support of adding Drummond is Noel’s knees. Noel missed five games this season with sore knees and now he’s averaging 27 minutes since Robinson’s injury. There is no timetable for Robinson’s return.

Noel has been in foul trouble and, according to some scouts, doesn’t have the size or strength to do consistently what Robinson does.

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Bulls’ Zach LaVine called cops on ‘obsessed’ fan at his home

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Zach LaVine had an unwanted visitor.

The Chicago Bulls star had to call the police after an “allegedly obsessed” woman showed up to his Chicago home and refused to leave on Thursday night, according to TMZ. 

The woman reportedly traveled from out of state, demanding to speak with the first-time All-Star, who was home at the time.

Police took her a local hospital for mental evaluation, and she has not been formally arrested or charged with a crime.

LaVine, 25, wrapped up first-half action with the Bulls on Wednesday and was drafted to Kevin Durant’s All-Star side for Sunday’s festivities in Atlanta.

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Blake Griffin a free agent after Pistons buyout

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Blake Griffin will be free to sign with the Nets or another interested NBA team after agreeing to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons.

The six-time All-Star forward “has interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders and is expected to make a decision on his next team after conversations with prospective teams,” ESPN reported.

The Nets, Lakers, Heat, Warriors and Clippers – his former team — are among those that have expressed interest, according to the New York Times. ESPN.com added that the Blazers are interested

The 31-year-old Griffin hasn’t played since Feb. 12 while the Pistons attempted to trade him before the March 25 deadline, but they found no takers due to the remainder of his $36.6 million salary for this season and the $39 million he’s owed for 2021-22.

Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
Blake Griffin was released by the Pistons on March 5, 2021
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Griffin is averaging a career-low 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 20 games this season. He was dealt by the Clippers to Detroit in 2018, during the first season of a five-year extension worth $171 million.



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Broncos send a pretty strong warning to Drew Lock

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Drew Lock is no lock to remain the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2021.

General manager George Paton and coach Vic Fangio both said Thursday that the team expects to bring in competition for Lock, possibly with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

“Obviously we’re always looking to bring in players at all positions that can raise the level of competition, and the quarterback is no different in that regard,” Fangio said, according to the team’s website.

“Until we get or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or certain teams around the league … are used to, we’re going to always try and bring in competition. But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Lock made 13 starts in 2020 and tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions. He finished 32nd in the league among qualifying quarterbacks with a 75.4 passer rating, ahead of only Dwayne Haskins, Wentz and Sam Darnold.

Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
Drew Lock faces the Patriots on October 18, 2020.
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“Very talented, was inconsistent at times, has a lot to work on,” Paton said Thursday. “But I’ve spoken with Drew, I see him every day. He’s here early. He’s working. He really wants to be great. And we’re always going to try to bring in competition at every position, and quarterback as well. But I like the track that Drew’s on.”

Lock, the Broncos’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Missouri, had started five games as a rookie, winning four of them. Denver went 4-9 with him as the starter last season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve,” Fangio said. “Drew’s had a great offseason up to this point. There’s not a lot you can do, but he’s working hard on his own, coming over here and getting workouts, and I know he’s doing a lot at home by himself, watching video by himself. He’s got a good setup over there. And he’s doing anything and everything he can to improve, even in February and now in March.”

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