The Los Angeles Lakers have been a squad searching for additional assistance to the roster as injuries have swept up their most crucial players. With the arrival of Andre Drummond becoming official, Los Angeles hopes he’s the player they’ve been searching for.
Drummond hasn’t stepped on the court since mid-February after he and the Cleveland Cavaliers mutually agreed he wouldn’t have a future with the team and the organization would look for a possible trade. Since Drummond’s contract saw him earning just short of $28 million, a trade didn’t seem realistic.
The Cavaliers bought out Drummond’s contract on trade deadline day, but the rumors connecting Drummond to the Purple and Gold became prevalent during the time frame when Drummond sat out games with Cleveland.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained when Drummond started ramping up on L.A.’s radar.
“It’s tough to pick a certain point,” Vogel said. “Obviously, when they (Cleveland Cavaliers) did what they did in terms of they said they might consider a trade or a buyout. At that point, we started talking about him as a potential buyout candidate.
“There’s a lot of guys that fall into that category that we keep an eye out and see how things progress. We knew that as things got closer to the trade deadline, it because more real. I don’t know if there’s a certain date where we felt like this was going to happen. It just kept getting closer and closer as the buyout season came closer.”
The Lakers hope Drummond’s offense helps them add to their versatility, and Vogel is confident Drummond’s game will make an immediate difference.
“For sure,” Vogel said. “He’s one of the most dominant rollers, lob catchers, post players, offensive rebounders in the game. Screeners. The list is long for how he’s going to contribute to our group. I do think he’s going to have an impact on our group right away offensively.”
It wouldn’t be shocking if Drummond displayed some rust when he makes his debut considering he hasn’t played in more than a month, but if he acclimates quickly, the Lakers will receive some much-needed frontcourt help.
Lakers expected to pursue a 3-and-D wing for final roster spot
The signing of Drummond means the Lakers have one roster spot left, and it seems L.A. has an idea of the type of player they want.
The Lakers reportedly are expected to browse the market for a 3-and-D wing, forwards who can knock down 3-pointers and space the floor while also being adequate defenders.
Los Angeles is generally undersized when it comes to their wing depth. LeBron James is their best option. Kyle Kuzma isn’t a reputed defender, though he has improved on that end. Wesley Matthews and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have had reps at the small forward position, but their size isn’t optimal against some of the league’s better, and bigger, forwards.
Otto Porter Jr., who the Chicago Bulls recently dealt to the Orlando Magic, could be a possible name to monitor as a buyout candidate.
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