It was widely expected that LeBron James and Anthony Davis helped recruit Andre Drummond to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Drummond confirmed he talked with James and Davis but played coy when discussing their recruiting pitches. The newest Lakers center paused then smiled when asked if he had discussions with James and Davis about coming to the Lakers.
“I made my decision based off what was best for me, not because of what anyone told me,” Drummond said with a smile during his introductory press conference. “Definitely, talking to these teams and talking to guys about how I fit on the team was a fun process for me. And having that conversation with those two guys [LeBron James and Anthony Davis] of what they were looking for from me was something I was willing and exciting to do, especially for this franchise.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported that “Lakers star players” recruited Drummond without naming James or Davis by name. The Lakers are likely trying to be extra cautious in avoiding any hint of tampering charges from the NBA.
“The Lakers’ star players and front office have been recruiting Drummond hard, selling him on the opportunity to step into the defending champion’s starting lineup, sources said,” Wojnarowski noted. “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 latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Drummond on Playing with LeBron: ‘To Be on the Same Floor as Him, Wearing the Same Jersey, It’s Exciting’
After Drummond hit the buyout market, an old tweet from the big man went viral. Drummond tweeted in 2011 that he wanted to play with James at some point.
“One of my goals In life Is to meet an play with or against @KingJames,” Drummond said at the time.
Drummond noted he was just 17 years old when he sent the tweet, and it was a year before he entered the NBA. After years of squaring off against James in the East, Drummond admitted it is nice to finally be wearing the same jersey.
“Playing against him has been quite the experience for me, from being 18 years old coming in and being on the Heat and seeing him win his first championship,” Drummond told Spectrum SportsNet. “It’s crazy to be his teammate now just the legacy that this guy has and everything he has done for the NBA. To be on the same floor as him, wearing the same jersey, it’s exciting.”
Drummond will have to wait a little longer to share the floor with his new All-Star teammates as both Davis and James are still sidelined with injuries. The Lakers may need to lean on Drummond sooner rather than later with the team’s top two players dealing with injuries. Drummond has not revealed when he will make his Lakers’ debut.
Vogel on Lakers Adding Drummond: ‘Our Team Got a Lot Better’
As expected, the Lakers were not active at the NBA trade deadline, instead choosing to wait for the buyout market. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel appears to be excited about the new addition noting, “our team got a lot better.”
“We’re all thrilled to add Andre Drummond, a player of his caliber, to our team,” Vogel explained, per ESPN. “He’s one of the best centers in the league, someone that every defensive coordinator is going to have to account for and to figure out how to handle him when they’re trying to slow down [Anthony Davis] and [LeBron James] and our guards. I think he’s going to give us a big lift in the immediate future, and then obviously when we get going. He can dominate the game on both sides of the ball. His physicality is something you have to account for.”