Here’s a first look at the All-Star double in purple and gold.
This is no surprise as the Lakers have been linked with the big man for quite some time now after Cleveland decided to shut him down until they traded him or bought out his contract. Several of the Lakers’ players have tried to recruit Drummond to sign with Los Angeles, selling him to play for a reigning championship team who are capable of doing it again this season.
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Drummond has been going to the Lakers for a while, but it’s a little weird when you really break down his place on the roster. Anthony Davis will play quite a few minutes at center in the playoffs. Marc Gasol has limits, but it should be noted that the starting five-man roster with him, Davis, LeBron James, Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope beat his opponents by 13.9 points per 100 possessions before injuries hit. break it. When in good health, this success should not be taken for granted. And then there’s Montrezl Harrell, who averages 14.9 hyper-efficient points per game off the bench. Like so many other Lakers, he’s represented by Klutch Sports, and with a player option this offseason, he’s probably not thrilled about the idea of a reduced playoff role. It is not yet clear how Frank Vogel plans to balance all of these great men, but it will be one of the most important stories of the Los Angeles playoffs.
But the Lakers clearly missed the athleticism JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard brought to center last season. Gasol is largely a stretch-five this season, and Harrell, just 6-8, just isn’t the size to do the things McGee and Howard have been doing. This means less lobs in the pick-and-roll and slightly poorer rim protection. In theory, Drummond can provide these things if he adheres to his role. Howard did it last season and it got him his first championship, but he was 34 and almost out of the league when the Lakers gave him a lifeline. Drummond is 27 years old and is looking for a new offer this offseason. His mentality will determine his success in Los Angeles.
With Davis and LeBron currently sidelined with injuries, Drummond’s impact would be felt immediately in their absence, and when the Lakers are in full health, his rebound and rim protection will help a team that hasn’t. not achieved great production in these areas out of its peak seasons.
While Drummond chose the Lakers, he had contact with several other teams, including the Clippers, Knicks, Celtics and Hornets. Each of those franchises could have made great use of Drummond’s services, but the Lakers are giving him a chance to win a championship this season and build up his stock before he enters unrestricted free agency this summer.
Drummond is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds this season, both of which are near career highs. He hasn’t played since February 12, so his conditioning may not be where he needs to be for any team signing him right now, but it’s obvious he can still impact both. sides of the field.