The Los Angeles Lakers brought in center Andre Drummond in the middle of the season after he was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers and there were immediate questions about whether he would be able to fit with Anthony Davis in the frontcourt.
Despite Davis’ desire to play with a center and the success the Lakers saw with their two-big lineups a season ago, some still wondered if they made the right decision to bring Drummond in. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the results at the end of the season were inconclusive.
Davis and Drummond had a minimal amount of games to truly get a chance to gel together and the latter believes the pair never had a chance to truly show what they were capable of. “Not at all,” Drummond said after the season. “There were glimpses. We all seen it. There were bright spots throughout the year where we played together and great things happened, but you can’t expect two guys that play in the paint to adjust in six weeks.
“It’s something that got to take some time. We got to have a training camp together. Preseason and even the regular season to work on things like that to build that kind of chemistry. I think he and I did a great job of adjusting well to each other with the time that we had.”
A condensed schedule and minimal practice time this season made it extremely difficult for a team with new players to truly develop chemistry. Add in the injuries and that Drummond came in mid-season and it was a near-impossible task to get the two bigs on the same page.
But Drummond is choosing not to focus too much on what could have been. “I don’t really do the what-ifs because the what-ifs can’t be solved,” he added. “Those moments are over. You can go back and think like what it could’ve been like. There’s nothing that we can do about it. Those were injuries. Situations we couldn’t foresee. The timing wasn’t there. That’s what it boils down to.”
The opportunity to make good on that potential remains there should Drummond return to the Lakers next season. The franchise believes they had a championship roster this season and with better injury luck and some minor tweaks, Davis and Drummond could look to put the rest of the league on notice next season.
Drummond enjoyed his ‘incredible time’ with Lakers this season
Drummond actually returning to the Lakers next season could be a difficult task due to salary cap constraints. But even if he doesn’t return, Drummond had effusive praise for the franchise in his short time in Los Angeles.
“I think overall this year I had an incredible time in the short stint that I was here,” Drummond said. “There was a lot put on me when I first got here. A lot for me to learn, a lot to catch up on and a lot to make up for. Two of the best players hurt and just trying to figure out an entire team with little time to help adjust to a playoff run.
“I think I’ve learned so much just being around the coaching staff and my teammates. An incredible group of guys we have here. We’re looking forward to building more with them.”
Drummond did make it clear that he was not flat-out committing to the Lakers for next season and will address that possibility once free agency comes around. But the Lakers as a team and franchise obviously made an impact on the former All-Star.
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