Andre Drummond is finally joining a contender.
Over the weekend, the 27-year old behemoth and rebounding savant was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers after agreeing to a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers on the remainder of the $27.9 million left on his 2020-21 contract. The 6’11 Drummond will likely slide right into the starting center role for the defending NBA champs alongside All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and looks to be embracing his change of scenery already:
Drummond’s role will simply be to do what he does best: rebound at an elite rate and protect the rim. He’s been playing well for the Cavaliers so far this season, averaging 17.5 points per game and the second-highest rebounding clip in the league at 13.5 boards per contest. The two-time All-Star went to the playoffs for two seasons with the Detroit Pistons (2016, 2019), but was swept out of the first round both times. The Lakers will get Davis back for the stretch run and are in prime position to defend their title. Catching lobs from LeBron and Dennis Schroeder is an optimal situation for Drummond, who will be a free agent after this season.
Drummond chose the Lake Show over teaming up with Kemba Walker on the Boston Celtics, robbing UConn fans of seeing two Huskies in the same uniform for the first time since Walker and Jeremy Lamb reunited in Charlotte from 2015-2019.
Despite that tantalizing New England pipe dream not coming true, it will still be great to see Drummond’s skillset embraced on a serious title contender. He was often miscast as a generational big man and Detroit wasted his prime years putting the wrong pieces around him. His talents are far better utilized as a second or third option on a good team, which the defending-champion Lakers certainly are: