Report: Celtics among teams interested in Bulls center Andre Drummond

Report: Celtics among teams interested in Bulls center Andre Drummond originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics could use some more frontcourt depth for the second half of the regular season and the 2024 NBA playoffs, and one player who might be available before Thursday’s trade deadline is Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond.

The Bulls are ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, just barely inside one of the play-in tournament spots. So the Bulls could still technically make the playoffs, but the chances of them winning a round — assuming they were successful in the play-in tourney — are incredibly slim.

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It makes more sense for them to become full-blown sellers ahead of the trade deadline. Drummond is an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so unless the Bulls view him as part of their long-term plans, it would behoove them to trade him before Thursday and get an asset or two.

Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype reported Monday, citing league sources, that Drummond has drawn interest from the Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.

Drummond is in his 12th season and is 30 years old. He’s no longer a consistent double-double guy, but he’s still an effective role player averaging 7.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He’s 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, so he’d give the Celtics a little more toughness and size in the paint, which might be useful if they face the likes of Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Nikola Jokic or Karl-Anthony Towns in the playoffs.

Drummond’s presence also would take minutes away from Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford for the rest of the regular season. This would help keep both of them fresh for the playoffs. Porzingis has battled plenty of injuries in his career and Horford is 37. The C’s cannot afford to play them too many minutes over the next few months and risk fatigue/injury becoming a factor.

Drummond’s salary is just $3.36 million, and that figure would fit inside the Celtics’ $6.2 million traded player exception (TPE) from the Grant Williams sign-and-trade with the Mavs last summer.

Adding a center like Drummond and/or a wing with size would make for an ideal trade deadline for the Celtics, who entered Monday with a league-best 38-12 record.

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