The Los Angeles Lakers center rotation was a pain point for them during the 2020-21 season as they lacked a true force in the middle of the paint.
Although Marc Gasol provided spacing and playmaking and Montrezl Harrell gave the Lakers scoring and energy on a nightly basis, neither big was well-equipped to block shots or catch lobs. Los Angeles looked to remedy the problem by grabbing Andre Drummond after he was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that experiment ended up being a bust as he could not do either.
Even though Drummond and the team sounded like they wanted to run things back together, things did not play that way after it was reported that he would sign a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. Drummond was officially introduced by Philadelphia and he discussed his decision to leave Los Angeles, via NBC Sports Philadelphia:
“Times is changing, and they made different trades and different changes to their team to where it didn’t make sense for me to go back there. I just took the next best thing after that, and it was to come to Philly. I think it’s a great fit for me.”
The trade Drummond is referring to is the blockbuster the Lakers swung for Russell Westbrook, while the additions of shooters and Dwight Howard made it easy to see that he was no longer a priority for them. The big man was benched in favor of Gasol to start Game 6 of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns and with L.A. expected to deploy Anthony Davis more at center, his role on the Lakers would have been minimal at best.
However, it is interesting to note that Drummond was initially resistant to sign a minimum deal, but that is exactly what he ended up doing with the 76ers. Centers in today’s modern NBA must be versatile enough on both ends of the floor if they want lucrative deals, and it goes to show how valued bigs like Drummond are now.
Lakers officially announce Dwight Howard signing
Even though Drummond is gone, the Lakers got arguably an upgrade when they reportedly agreed to terms with Howard. Howard is making his third stint with the Purple and Gold and his signing was officially announced.
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