Andre Drummond praises Nic Claxton while casting doubt on his future in Brooklyn

Andre Drummond
Brooklyn Nets center Andre Drummond sits in the first row after chasing a loose ball in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Nic Claxton wasn’t the only one who was happy that he didn’t end up getting traded at the deadline in February. Andre Drummond, who arrived in Brooklyn as part of the deal that also brought Ben Simmons and Seth Curry, is in that camp as well.

Especially since it seems Drummond’s stay in Kings County may be a short one. Speaking with reporters ahead of the Nets’ game against Memphis on Wednesday, Drummond seemed to indicate he may not be here after this season.

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“If we’re all being honest, I’m only here til the rest of the season,” Drummond told the New York Daily News. “Who knows what’s gonna happen in the off-season? So they need a guy like (Nic).”

Drummond will be an unrestricted free agent after this season after signing a 1-year deal this past offseason in Philadelphia and Brooklyn’s precarious salary cap situation is likely to force him to look for a new deal elsewhere. The current collective bargaining agreement would prevent the Nets from offering the center what he’d likely ask for in a new deal.

The Nets have the second-largest payroll in the NBA behind only the Golden State Warriors.

“I think that we need him,” Drummond said about Claxton. “We need him. I think he’s very, very beneficial for this team. He’s young still, a guy that can come in and help, can start, come off the bench. He can do a little bit of everything. With a guy like that that’s so versatile, why would you trade somebody like that?”

Both bigs have come in handy for the Nets, especially with LaMarcus Aldridge sidelined due to a right hip impingement.

Drummond, who returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s game with a non-COVID illness, has averaged 11.4 points in 14 games since the trade and he has been a rebounding machine, averaging 9.6. Claxton is coming off a 15 point effort on Monday, when he collected 6 rebounds and 4 assists.