In the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to trade JaVale McGee so that they could sign Marc Gasol to a two-year deal. Less than a year into that decision, it’s clear the team likely regrets it. They recently signed Andre Drummond, who should take over Gasol’s starting spot.
While that will fix the need at center for the rest of this season, the Lakers have some decisions this offseason. If Drummond ends up being a hit with the team, they could try to re-sign him. However, he could end up getting paid a big chunk of money. At his introductory press conference, Drummond wasn’t ready to commit to anything past this season.
“For me, I’m just focused on wearing a Lakers jersey right now,” Drummond said. “When the time comes for the next decision, we’ll cross that bridge. But as of right now, my main focus is helping this team win as many games as possible.”
Drummond is coming to Los Angeles on a major discount. He’ll take the pay cut now, but he’ll want to make his money when the offseason comes. The Lakers will have some decisions to make if they end up liking him on the squad.
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Will Drummond Be a Laker Next Season?
Once Anthony Davis and LeBron James return from injury, it’ll be very interesting to see how Drummond fits in with the team. He’s used to being one of the top two options on a team. There’s no doubt he’ll be at least third on the totem pole and could be fourth or fifth on a lot of nights.
It’s hard to remember due to the recent slew of injuries, but the Lakers have a loaded roster when healthy. He’ll have plenty of time to see if this is a team that he’ll want to spend more than just one season with. He’ll almost certainly make more money in free agency than the Lakers will be able to offer him. Drummond will have to really love his time with the team if he’s going to be willing to take a discount.
Drummond Not Trying to Steal the Spotlight
With so much talent on the team, there will be plenty of times where not everybody will get as much usage as they’d like. Drummond is heading to the Lakers ranked 14th in usage rate in the NBA. He has even more usage than Davis and just a little less than LeBron. His usage should take a serious hit once the Lakers are healthy. Fortunately, it sounds like Drummond understands that.
“Yeah, that’s a discussion I’ve had with Frank already,” Drummond said. “I know what it is, he knows what it is, the team knows what it is so I’m just here to help in whatever capacity it may be. I’m not here to steal nobody’s shine, I’m just here to help this team win as many games as possible.”
Last season, Dwight Howard was able to leave his ego at the door and it worked out very well for him. If Drummond can be selfless the same way Howard was, his experience with the Lakers should be really fruitful.