The big move made by the Los Angeles Lakers in the buyout market last season was bringing in center Andre Drummond to shore up the team’s big man rotation. The chemistry was never able quite to be developed due to the constant injuries, but it wouldn’t have been a stretch to see Drummond return to the Lakers in hopes of finishing off what they started last season.
But after the first day of free agency, it began to look less likely that Drummond would make a return to the purple and gold. First, the team agreed to a deal to bring back Dwight Howard, and then following Spain’s loss to Team USA in the Olympics, Marc Gasol confirmed that he would be returning to finish out the last year of his contract.
With the Lakers set at the center position, Drummond moved on and has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent C Andre Drummond has agreed to a one-year deal with the 76ers, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
The move is a bit of an interesting one for Drummond as he basically swapped places with Dwight Howard, taking on the backup center role behind Joel Embiid. Furthermore, Drummond and Embiid have a bit of history as opponents throughout the years, with the Sixers’ MVP candidate often going on social media to insult the former Lakers big.
While it is currently unclear how much Drummond signed for, it is worth noting that earlier this offseason, he scoffed at the idea of signing for the minimum to stay with the Lakers. With just a one-year deal to go to Philadelphia, it is certainly feasible that he eventually relented on that earlier statement.
Drummond ultimately gives the Sixers another physical big who can help control the boards and protect the rim, and the Sixers always need insurance for the oft-injured Embiid. In 21 games for the Lakers last season, Drummond averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Marc Gasol returns he will return to the Lakers
One big man who will return to the Lakers is Marc Gasol, who confirmed as much following Spain’s elimination from the knockout round of the Tokyo Olympics. The big man was under a two-year contract though some wondered whether he would retire or possibly even ask for his release.
The Spanish big man will finish out his contract, however, and considering the Lakers’ need for shooting and playmaking, he remains an ideal fit.