Now that Andre Drummond is officially a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, they will soon have a firsthand look at how he gels with the rest of the squad.
Securing Drummond’s signature wasn’t an easy task for the Lakers despite the myriad rumors linking the two sides for a while. Teams like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks also vied for Drummond’s services as both teams desperately sought interior help in a jammed Eastern Conference.
The Brooklyn Nets were another team in the mix for Drummond but eventually completed the signings of Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge instead.
The Lakers, who didn’t trade for anyone at the trade deadline, became focused on Drummond in the buyout market. As much as Los Angeles wanted Drummond, it came down to his own decision, and the center explained why he chose the Lakers despite several teams attempting to acquire him.
“For me, I just thought it was the best fit,” Drummond said. “I think being here I’m able to come in right away and impact this team defensively. My toughness on both sides of the court. Mainly defensively. Coming here to be the anchor for this team.”
Drummond said he had conversations with LeBron James and Anthony Davis prior to finalizing his decision, but he explained how nobody affected his decision to join the Lakers.
“I made my decision based on what was best for me,” Drummond said. “Not because of what anybody told me. 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 and what they were looking for from me was something I was willing and excited to do, especially for this franchise.”
This opportunity with the Lakers is also the first time Drummond will be in serious competition for the NBA championship. Drummond made the playoffs twice with the Detroit Pistons, but they were the eighth seed in both years. The Cleveland Cavaliers swept Detroit in the 2015-16 season, and the Milwaukee Bucks swept Detroit in the 2018-19 campaign.
Drummond said he’s ecstatic about the chance to experience the playoff atmosphere once again after encountering two unsuccessful trips earlier in his career.
“For me personally having that playoff experience but not having success was something I was hungry for,” Drummond said. “I was hungry to get back in the playoffs again and really get a true experience of what it’s like to play on the biggest stage. Being here and being able to have the opportunity is truly a blessing and I’m excited to take on this role.”
Drummond understands role, wants to win ‘as many games as possible’
The Lakers have to sort out the minutes’ allocation to specific bigs with Drummond entering the room, as his role could eclipse the roles of current bigs on the roster.
Drummond said he’s conversed with head coach Frank Vogel about his role with the Lakers and knows what he must do to help L.A.
“Yeah, that’s a discussion I’ve had with Frank already,” Drummond said during his introductory press conference. “I know what it is, he knows what it is, the team knows what it is so I’m just here to help in whatever capacity it may be. I’m not here to steal nobody’s shine, I’m just here to help this team win as many games as possible.”
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