Andre Drummond Reveals Reason for Lakers Exit

Getty Images Former Lakers center Andre Drummond.

Despite a turbulent tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, it appeared after the season that Andre Drummond would return, with both sides expressing interest in getting a deal done in free agency.

That never happened and Drummond instead signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, essentially swapping places with Dwight Howard, who signed with the Lakers early on in free agency.

Drummond after the moves the Lakers made, it didn’t make sense for him to go back.

“You know, times are changing, and they made different trades and changes to their team to where it didn’t make sense for me to go back there, so I took the next-best thing after that, which was to come to Philly,” Drummond told reporters on Thursday. “I think it’s a great fit for me.”

76ers' Andre Drummond introductory press conference | NBA Free Agency76ers' Andre Drummond introductory press conference | NBA Free Agency #Sixers » Subscribe to NBC Sports Philadelphia: » Get the latest news on NBC Sports Philadelphia: » Download the MyTeams app: iOS: Android: NBC Sports Philadelphia serves Philly sports fans 24/7 with the latest news on the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and…2021-08-05T16:16:39Z

Offseason Was Complicated for Drummond, Lakers

The Lakers acquired Drummond in March following the big man reaching a buyout agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds and started all but one game he played with the Lakers — DNP-CD in the decisive Game 6 of LA’s first-round playoff series against Phoenix.

The Lakers praised Drummond through his time with the team, even saying they saw him as part of the long-term future in Los Angeles.

“Dre was great for us,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said during his exit interview. “Let me start by saying that. We’re hopeful that he’s a Laker for a long time. He played well for us, and was a good culture fit. He fit in well with the guys and was very well-liked. We just … We said it all all along: We were concerned about how much time we would have to build the cohesion necessary for the playoffs, and with AD being out and Bron really only getting two games with Drum before the playoffs began, we just didn’t have that time to build the cohesiveness that we wanted.”

Drummond also said he’d like to “run it back” with the Lakers during the offseason.

“I enjoyed my time being here in Los Angeles. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot being alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and just the whole team in general,” Drummond said during an Instagram Live interview with Aron Cohen of lakersalldayeveryday. “This is an incredible time for me in my career to have the opportunity to play with LeBron James instead of against him. Hopefully, things go the right way and we’ll try to run it back again.”

Shortly after that, Drummond criticized his role on the Lakers via social media comments, saying he could have done more with additional playing time. He later went on to say the whole ordeal was an effort to bring attention to his NFT auction (which went horribly).

He also scoffed at the idea of taking the veteran’s minimum, which is what he ended up signing with Philadelphia.

Laker Fans Were Clammoring for Dwight Howard

GettyLakers center Dwight Howard.

Laker fans were ready for Howard’s return. He averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds last season with Philadelphia, proving he could still be key role player for a contending squad. After helping the Lakers to a title in 2020, Howard’s presence was missed and the Lakers made sure to pounce this time around and not let him get away in free agency.

Anthony Davis is also set to play more of the center position and veteran big man Marc Gasol will be returning to the Lakers as well.

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