Even though the Los Angeles Lakers did not make any moves at the trade deadline, there are still avenues of improving the roster on the buyout market.
The biggest name available is center Andre Drummond after he recently completed a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, making him a free agent that can sign with any team.
The Lakers have made it clear that Drummond is their top priority for a while now and have long believed to be the favorites to land him.
Drummond began meeting with teams the last few days, with the Lakers among the teams to secure a meeting to pitch him on playing in Los Angeles for the remainder of the season. The Lakers’ ability to potentially offer him a starting center spot and larger role than some other places, coupled with them being in the mix for another championship, is why they have been viewed as the favorites.
There still is some competition though as Brad Turner of the L.A. Times is reporting that Drummond is down to the Lakers, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks with a decision potentially coming as soon as Saturday:
Sources: Lakers and Celtics in running to land center André Drummond, but Knicks also have a shot. Drummond might make a decision today.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) March 27, 2021
Similar to the Lakers, the Celtics could also offer Drummond a starting center role after trading Daniel Theis to the Chicago Bulls at the deadline. The Knicks, on the other hand, still have $15 million in cap space so they can offer him the most money of the bunch, and potentially even a long-term deal.
Because of how close the Lakers are to the hard cap, they only have the ability to offer Drummond a minimum salary for the remainder of this season.
Lakers players recruiting Drummond
Although Drummond reportedly met with the Lakers brass this week, they are not the only ones doing the recruiting as Lakers players seem to be doing so as well.
Drummond has a close relationship with Anthony Davis and has long admired LeBron James as well, so it will be interesting to see if the Lakers’ stars will be able to convince him to come to L.A. instead of one of the East Coast teams still in the running.
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