It’s been weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to have interest in Andre Drummond and things only started heating up after the team didn’t make a move at the trade deadline. After much speculation, it looks like the All-Star big man has come to a decision. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Drummond will sign with the Lakers.
Once Andre Drummond clears waivers at 5 PM ET, he intends to sign with the Lakers, his agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelbasketball tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 28, 2021
Over the last couple of days, it was becoming clear that he favored Los Angeles. The team was rumored to be “front runners” for some time. However, the Boston Celtics were almost able to swoop in at the last minute and steal the center. It looks like they weren’t able to outpitch the Lakers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were trying to trade Drummond for over a month before finally deciding to buy him out after the trade deadline passed. He hasn’t played a game since February 12 as the Cavaliers were sitting him out while they decided what to do with him. The two-time All-Star will now go from one of the worst teams in the NBA to the reigning champions.
According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Drummond will be getting paid $794,536, which will give the Lakers enough money to land another player if they so choose.
The contract for Andre Drummond in Los Angeles is the amount- $794,536- that he gave back in his buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Lakers will have a $554,988 cap hit.
The Lakers are $954,349 below the hard cap and have enough room to sign a 15th player.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) March 28, 2021
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Lakers Needed This Win
Things have been rough for the Lakers over the last several weeks. Anthony Davis and LeBron James have missed time due to injury and they struck out on Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline. The team has also had to standby while the Brooklyn Nets keep landing stars like Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Landing a big name like Drummond reinforces the fact that the Lakers are still contenders despite the recent slew of injuries. The optics of losing out on another top player wouldn’t have been great. Not only did the Nets improve, but the Miami Heat also landed Victor Oladipo, the Clippers added Rajon Rondo and the Milwaukee Bucks got P.J. Tucker. A lot of the top contenders were improving while the Lakers stayed put. Drummond also helps fill one of the team’s biggest holes.
How Drummond Fits With Lakers
There’s been a lot of chatter of the Lakers wanting to find a new starting center. Marc Gasol is still a solid player but he’s clearly past his prime. Drummond should come in and immediately take over as the starter. While Davis and LeBron are out, he’ll be able to feast quite a bit.
He’s one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history and can also score a lot of points. The Lakers need a player to pick up some slack while the superstars get healthy and Drummond should be up to the task. He should also help quite a bit on defense.
The Lakers already have the best defensive team in the NBA and adding Drummond only enhances that fact. Head coach Frank Vogel is a defensive mastermind and he’ll get his new center to become a dominant rim protector. Now, Drummond does make some really boneheaded plays. It will be up to Vogel and the veterans on the team to keep him in check. If he can mitigate those mistakes, the Lakers landed one of the better big men in the NBA.