Andre Drummond’s start with the Los Angeles Lakers hasn’t exactly been hot. He’s only averaging 11.9 points a game on 46.8% shooting from the field. While he isn’t lighting up the stat sheet right now, he should improve as he plays more. He was out for weeks before the Cleveland Cavaliers finally bought him out. It’s obvious that he accumulated a good bit of rust during that time.
The Lakers only have Drummond under contract for the rest of this season and should face competition when trying to bring him back in free agency. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Charlotte Hornets should be among the teams vying for his services.
“Drummond, 27, continues to be one of the NBA’s best rebounders and is also an underrated passer,” Swartz wrote. “While his shot selection isn’t ideal at times, Drummond should find himself with plenty of open looks near the basket off passes from LaMelo Ball.”
The Hornets are a rising team in the Eastern Conference. LaMelo Ball looks like a future superstar and Terry Rozier has been putting together a nice season. Adding a star big man like Drummond could be what gets them over the hump.
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Raptors Could Also Be in Play
Drummond’s stock likely isn’t as high as it once was. He puts up good stats but hasn’t ever won a playoff game. Teams don’t typically pay players big money unless they have a history of success. Signing with the Lakers was a very smart move for Drummond. He’ll win a lot of playoff games this year and possibly a championship.
Having a title under his belt could boost his value in free agency. Another team that could take a look at Drummond, according to Swartz, is the Toronto Raptors.
“If Drummond’s asking price reaches a reasonable level, he and Chris Boucher would provide varying skill sets in a strong center combo,” Swartz wrote.
After being a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference for years, the Raptors are poised to miss the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. They need to make a splash this offseason, especially considering Kyle Lowry is likely to walk in free agency. Drummond isn’t a franchise changer but he’s a very good player and could be a great third or fourth option.
Lakers Want to Keep Drummond
The Lakers should have the upper hand this offseason if they hope to keep Drummond. He appears to be happy with the team and has a strong relationship with Anthony Davis. Plus, head coach Frank Vogel has already made it clear that they are hoping to keep him past this season.
“Well, that’s certainly what we’re hopeful for [to keep Drummond],” Vogel said when the team first signed Drummond. “This summer will play out and we’ll let that happen when it happens. We want him to help us during this championship run this season, but we’re hopeful that he’s a Laker for a long time to come. That’s what we’re envisioning. We think he’s going to be a key piece for us both in the short-term and the long-term.”
Whether or not he’ll stay depends on the price. The Lakers also need to pay Dennis Schroder a pretty penny. That could make it impossible to keep both.