The Los Angeles Lakers were involved in trade talks up until the very last seconds before the trade deadline passed at 12 p.m. PT on Thursday. And after they eventually failed to lure Kyle Lowry away from the Toronto Raptors, the front office’s focus will now turn to the buyout market in search of roster upgrades.
Lowry became a viable trade option for L.A. out of the blue, overshadowing the team’s pursuit of the players who had been frequently linked with a move to Staples Center in recent weeks. Those included big men Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers, former Laker JaVale McGee and the Sacramento Kings’ Hassan Whiteside.
But on Thursday, the Denver Nuggets quickly snapped up McGee and rumors regarding Whiteside’s vanished just as promptly. However, Drummond will now certainly be back on top of the Lakers’ wish-list as according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the 27-year-old and Cleveland are working toward a contract buyout:
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Andre Drummond will work out a buyout, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 25, 2021
L.A. hoped the Cavaliers would eventually buy out Drummond’s contract as due to their payroll situation, those were the only circumstances in which the team could bring the center in.
And considering the Lakers decided not to keep Damian Jones after signing him to two 10-day contracts, it seems they were convinced Drummond would end up on the buyout market in the end — and the waiting game seemingly paid off.
Aldridge believed to be heading for buyout with Spurs
LaMarcus Aldridge is another big-name center whose services could soon become available. After the San Antonio Spurs failed to trade the 35-year-old away, the two sides were reportedly finalizing a contract buyout.
Aldridge has been linked with a move to L.A. for years and the speculations resurfaced earlier this year when the Spurs and the center officially decided to part ways. However, the Miami Heat are believed to the to frontrunners for his signature, making Drummond a more realistic option for the Lakers.
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