After months of speculation surrounding his future, Andre Drummond has finally found a new home in the form of reigning NBA champions, the LA Lakers. They were reportedly the frontrunners to land him in the buyout market this season and have now officially signed him.
After making no moves before this year's NBA trade deadline, the Lakers were rumored to be going big in the buyout market, and they have done just that. With Anthony Davis and LeBron James both ruled out, Drummond's signing comes as welcome news for them as they were desperately looking for a third star to help the team stay afloat without their prized assets.
The LA Lakers have struggled in their star duo's absence and dropped four straight games recently, including losing to the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Phoenix Suns, who the Purple and Gold might face in the postseason this year. In both these games and in the four losses in general, the Lakers weren't able to get going on either end of the floor.
At this stage of the season, many would believe Frank Vogel's side should have been first in the Western Conference standings, but that has not been the case. But with Andre Drummond's addition, the LA Lakers will now look to accelerate from here on.
Exploring how Andre Drummond's acquisition will improve the LA Lakers
Andre Drummond was a wanted man and was pursued by multiple contending teams this season. He happens to be a player who would walk into any starting lineup due to his skillset. He is a force in the paint who can overpower his counterparts with ease, especially on the defensive side.
On that note, let's take a look at what Andre Drummond brings to the Lakers with his style of play and impact.
#1 - Rim protection
Last season, the LA Lakers had two of the most authoritative centers in the league, with the likes of Javale McGee and Dwight Howard playing in rotations for them. They gave the Lakers the edge in the paint and also made them one of the best defensive sides in the league. This season, too, the Lakers have been the best defensive unit, but the opposing teams seem to have found a way to hurt them on the offense by attacking the rim.
Andre Drummond's addition could help the Lakers improve massively on that front and also provide a much-needed upgrade on the likes of Marc Gasol, who, at 36, isn't really the force to be reckoned with when it comes to rim protection. Drummond, on the other hand, is excellent when it comes to protecting the basket and isn't afraid to put his body on the line either. He uses his reach well to block shots with ease, and as a result, has averaged a whopping 1.5 blocks per game throughout his career.
#2 Key presence in the absence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James
The Lakers have struggled in the absence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James this year. With a busy fixture schedule and frequent back-to-back games to be played, Andre Drummond will provide that extra cushion for Frank Vogel to rest his star players against weaker opposition.
Drummond can form a solid partnership with the likes of Schroder and Kuzma on the court to help the Lakers win without LeBron and AD, something the Lakers haven't been able to do with ease. As a result, the Lakers can avoid losing to teams they are superior to and also stay within the top three positions until they get to the post season.
Andre Drummond's addition will also help Frank Vogel with his rotations, as he will now have four players who can play at center for him. Marc Gasol is more of a playmaker, while Harrell offers explosiveness on the offensive end and can work best in a small-ball lineup. Then there is Anthony Davis, who can provide maximum support on both ends, while Drummond can be used adequately against teams who possess the size and like to attack the rim.
It is well established that the LA Lakers are not a great team when it comes to rebounding. Andre Drummond has been one of the best rebounders in the league for the last few years and averages 13.8 rebounds per game throughout his career. On the current Lakers roster, there isn't a single player who averages ten or more boards.
Anthony Davis leads the team with 8.4 per game, followed by LeBron at 7.9. Andre Drummond will definitely help the Lakers gain more possession on both ends due to this quality.