Prized Buyout Spurned Celtics for Storied Rival at Last Minute: Report

Celtics were close to signing Andre Drummond

Getty New Lakers center Andre Drummond.

Andre Drummond ultimately chose to take his talents out west, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers this past Sunday. However, it appears as though that wasn’t always a guarantee. According to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, the Boston Celtics were actually very close to beefing up their frontcourt by securing the services of the two-time All-Star selection.

“The Celtics were considered the favorites to land Drummond off and on Friday and Saturday before he chose LA last night, per league sources,” Weiss tweeted. “Ultimately, he could not pass on the opportunity to start for a proven contender & be an immediate focal point as LeBron & AD remain out.”

Drummond, who agreed to a buyout of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers late last week, spent Friday and Saturday meeting with the Celtics and Lakers as well as three other clubs: the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets. However, the 27-year-old’s decision ultimately came down to a two-team race between Boston and L.A.

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Luke Kornet Flashing as Celtics Frontcourt Begins to Take Shape

Obviously, the addition of Drummond would have been a major boost for a Celtics frontcourt which just lost starter Daniel Theis via trade. The team did acquire former Washington Wizards center Moritz Wagner and ex-Chicago Bulls center Luke Kornet at last Thursday’s deadline. The latter has actually made quite the early impression on his new team. Kornet, who has logged exactly 13 minutes in each of his first two games with the Celtics, is averaging 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and shooting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc since arriving in Beantown.

“The biggest thing with Luke, obviously, Luke is a guy who can shoot the ball,” head coach Brad Stevens recently noted during a postgame video conference, via NESN. “We’ve also been intrigued with Luke for a long time because of his pick-and-roll defense. His ability, he’s always in good position. He’s long. He affects shots at the rim. He’s a guy that we’ve always had an interest in because of those two things.”

Robert Williams: ‘I Still Got a Pretty Big Jump Ahead of Me’

Alongside Kornet and Wagner in the frontcourt, the team has begun to shell out starter minutes to Robert Williams. Time Lord has averaged 28.3 minutes per game since Theis was traded to Chicago.

“I think that he’s made a lot of strides, he does a lot of good things, and he can fill up a stat sheet,” Stevens recently said of Williams, via John Karalis of The Boston Sports Journal. “I think that there’s things that he will just continue to improve upon and his best days are still far ahead.”

Williams echoed Stevens’ take, noting that “I feel like I still got a pretty big jump ahead of me, just as far as pushing myself to be the best that I can be. For me, mostly it’s just about slowing down, on the offensive and defensive end, slowing down and recognizing what’s in front of me.”

Williams has produced a well-rounded stat line since taking over as a starter, averaging 7.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.3 steals over his last three games. It’s unclear how Williams’ minutes will be affected by the eventual return of Tristan Thompson from COVID-19 protocols. However, it’s clear he’s earned an uptick in usage.


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