The Los Angeles Lakers defeated a rebuilding Orlando Magic team on Sunday night, but that was not the biggest news of the day.
After weeks of rumors and speculation, the Lakers signed Andre Drummond for the rest of the 2020-21 season after he cleared waivers. Drummond and the Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to mutually part ways earlier in the year and eventually agreed to a buyout after the trade deadline passed.
Los Angeles has been lacking a true interior center with size, so adding Drummond fills that void. He is widely expected to start as soon as he joins the team.
Head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged Drummond’s signing and expressed his and Lakers’ excitement. “We’re thrilled. We’re all thrilled that (to add) Andre Drummond, a player of his caliber, to our team. He’s one of the best centers in the league. Someone that every defensive coordinator is going to have to account for and figure out how to handle him while they’re trying to slow down AD and Bron and our guards.
“I think he’s going to give us a big lift in the immediate future and then obviously when we get going. He’s just one of those guys that can dominate the game on both sides of the ball and his physicality is something you have to account for.”
Vogel noted that he has spoken to Drummond and the 27-year-old is also looking forward to suiting up for the Purple and Gold.
“I have talked to him personally. He’s really excited about this situation. I don’t want to go too far into the nature of those private conversations other than to say he’s really excited. Probably as excited as we are. I think our team got a lot better.”
It is an exciting time for the Lakers as Drummond was by far and away the best player available on the buyout market and he will provide a much-needed talent boost in the interim while LeBron James and Anthony Davis are out. Drummond was productive during his time with Cleveland, and should remain so when he gets a chance to actually hit the floor.
While not the floor spacer or interior scoring presence like Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell, respectively, Drummond is one of the best rebounders in the league and that should help the Lakers on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Drummond will be asked to get after it on the offensive glass and make himself available for lobs and dump off passes, two things he can surely do.
It will be interesting to see how well he meshes with the roster, but this has to be considered a massive win for the team.
Vogel unsure when Drummond will make team debut
Drummond has not played in over a month and while he is healthy and available, Vogel admitted he does not have a timeline on when he will make his debut with the Lakers.
“We don’t know his availability yet,” Vogel said.”
The Lakers should have a practice before their next game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, which should give Drummond an opportunity to get acclimated with his new teammates.
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