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Detroit Pistons gets 2 Cleveland Cavaliers players, draft pick for center Andre Drummond

By TOM WITHERS

AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers were expected to move a big man. Instead, they added one.

In Thursday’s final hour before the NBA trading deadline, Cleveland acquired two-time All-Star center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for forward John Henson, guard Brandon Knight and “the less favorable” of its two 2023 second-round draft picks.

The teams made the deal official Thursday night after getting league approval.

Cleveland needed to do something to save a season that’s been worsening by the day. The Cavs are just 13-39 under first-year coach John Beilein and some recent blowout losses have raised concerns about the team’s direction under general manager Koby Altman.

But by landing Drummond, who leads the league in rebounding, the Cavs helped themselves in the short-term and positioned themselves for the future.

The Cavs had been expected to be aggressive leading into the deadline and signs pointed to the team 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 Eastern Conference’s worst record, and he’ll take some of the pressure off Cleveland’s young guards, as well as Beilein.