Andre Drummond wasted no time sharing his thoughts about joining the Los Angeles Lakers but kept things brief after news broke of his move west. Lakers fans received a glimpse of what Drummond looks like in a Lakers uniform as the center presented the first look at himself wearing the team’s signature gold jersey. Drummond also reposted several messages about his decision to join the Lakers to his Instagram story.
“Back to work. 💜💛,” Drummond said on Instagram.
As Drummond alluded, the center may need some time to hit his stride after joining the Lakers. Drummond last took the court on February 12th as the center is fastly approaching the two-month mark since his last regular-season game. Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto reported Drummond has been working out in Los Angeles as he awaited either a trade or buyout from the Cavaliers.
“But he knew his playing time (and stats) would be diminished with [Jarrett] Allen now the center of attention,” Pluto explained. “I heard Drummond has been working out in Los Angeles, wanting to go to the Lakers.”
Here is a look at Drummond’s first comments as a member of the Lakers.
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Drummond Chose the Lakers Over the Celtics & Knicks
Drummond was also linked to the Celtics and Knicks but The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported New York did not make a strong effort to sign the center. After weeks of the Lakers being the favorite to land Drummond, the Celtics made a late push at keeping the two-time All-Star center in the Eastern Conference.
In the end, the chance to potentially compete for a championship while playing significant minutes gave the Lakers the edge. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Drummond also spoke with the Clippers, Hornets, Knicks and Celtics before signing with the Lakers.
“The Lakers’ star players and front office have been recruiting the center hard, selling him on the opportunity to step into the defending champions’ starting lineup, sources said,” Wojnarowski detailed. “The Lakers have had inconsistent center play with Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell this season, and Drummond’s ability to protect the paint and rebound would allow for him to have a significant impact.”
The Lakers Were Predicted to Land Drummond Since Before the Trade Deadline
Prior to the trade deadline, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that popular thought around the league was Drummond would end up joining the Lakers. Drummond’s $28.7 million salary made a trade to Los Angeles unlikely but the buyout opened up the door for the Lakers to add a player who could compete to be the team’s new starting center.
“The league believes, and I know that’s a vague statement, but I’m saying it that way to avoid trapping myself,” Windhorst explained on The Hoop Collective, per Real GM. “The league believes, numerous teams I’ve talked to believe that Andre Drummond is heading for the Lakers if slash when he gets bought out.”
Drummond is widely regarded as one of the best rebounders in the NBA. The center averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 25 starts for the Cavs this season. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis both sidelined, Drummond may make an impact for the Lakers sooner rather than later.