The Los Angeles Lakers have officially welcomed Andre Drummond to Los Angeles, as the two sides agreed to a deal after he cleared waivers following a buyout agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The signing arrives at an opportune time for the Lakers, who haven’t played at their potential in the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Drummond will bestow a desperately needed interior presence to improve the quality of play.
Drummond, who averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks on 47.4% field goal shooting with the Cavaliers, must acclimate to a new role with the Lakers, especially without James and Davis.
The 27-year-old center explained he’s conversed with Lakers head coach Frank Vogel about his role with a new system and wants to contribute in any form.
“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.”
While Drummond and the team haven’t confirmed it, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that Drummond will step into the Lakers’ starting lineup ahead of Marc Gasol:
Drummond is expected to start over Marc Gasol, the incumbent starting center, according to league sources.
Without James and Davis, the Lakers have turned to Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma to shoulder weightier burdens on both ends of the floor. It’s been a mixed bag of results given the 2-3 record since James’ injury, but Drummond explained where he can aid the team while L.A.’s superstar duo remains sidelined.
“I just got here yesterday so I’m still trying to figure all this stuff out right now,” Drummond said. “But I think for me personally, I can have an immediate impact defensively for this team so I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to step back on the court again. It’s been almost a month and 10-plus days since I’ve last played so you can imagine the hunger and excitement I have to play and step back on the court.”
Drummond hasn’t registered any minutes since mid-February when he and the Cavaliers first agreed he wouldn’t play anymore as the franchise sought a trade. Not playing games in more than a month has affected Drummond’s ability to remain in form to step onto the court, but he said he remained prepared and is ready for action.
“This past month has been crazy for me just figuring out how to stay in shape, in game shape that is,” Drummond said. “It’s always easy to stay in shape but game shape is definitely a lot harder to do without playing full-contact like 5-on-5. But I figured it out, my staff is great who I worked with. I had an incredible month of work where I’m ready to play today.”
Drummond unsure of Lakers debut
The Lakers have a two-day break before they recommence action against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at Staples Center. While Drummond’s debut is highly anticipated, his status for that game isn’t clarified just yet.
“That’s something we have to discuss today,” Drummond said. “I’ll know more today about what’s happening on Wednesday.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!