All-Star weekend is officially in the past and it’s time for the Los Angeles Lakers to gear up for the second half of the season. The team hit a bit of a slump before the All-Star break but the time off should hopefully rejuvenate them. It remains to be seen how long Anthony Davis will be out and it appears the Lakers plan to make a move that will address his absence.
The team has been linked to several big men ahead of the trade deadline. The Lakers probably can’t make a trade so they’ll have to try their luck on the buyout market. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, it looks like they’ve set their sights on free agent DeMarcus Cousins and Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.
“League sources say they have interest in free agent DeMarcus Cousins, but Drummond is their preference if he gets bought out,” O’Connor wrote. “Drummond has been benched while the [Cleveland] Cavaliers seek a trade, but there’s doubt around the league that they’ll be able to find one due to his massive $28.8 million salary.”
Cousins was with the Lakers last season but never played a game due to injury. He was let go by the Houston Rockets last month and has been sitting in free agency. It would likely be welcome in the locker room to bring “Boogie” back but it’s sounding like Drummond is the prefered acquisition.
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Drummond Appears to Have Interest in Lakers
There’s almost no way that the Lakers are trading for Drummond unless they plan to send LeBron James back to Cleveland. However, if the two-time All-Star is out via buyout, Los Angeles will have a good shot at him. According to Marc Stein, Drummond will strongly consider the Lakers.
Signing Drummond would be a very interesting move. It could possibly send Marc Gasol to the bench and shake up the rotation in a major way. Gasol was once a star but he’s only averaging 4.8 points a game for the Lakers, which is a career-low. He’s still a solid defender and excellent passer. Drummond would give the team one of the best rebounders in the NBA and he’s vastly more athletic than Gasol. The Lakers have bigger needs than the one at center but it appears the team really wants to add a big.
Blake Griffin off the Market
One player the Lakers were linked to recently was Blake Griffin. He was bought out by the Detroit Pistons last week and hit free agency on Sunday. It doesn’t appear Los Angeles ever got a fair shot at Griffin as he quickly signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s clear that he chose Brooklyn because he sees them as affording him his best opportunity at a championship yet. However, it might not be the smartest move for the Nets. They have one of the worst defenses in the NBA. Griffin wasn’t even a great defender in his prime. He’s not going to bring them much help on defense. Time will tell if the move actually pays off.