Though he will be eligible for free agency this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly hoping to bring back Andre Drummond.
On the The Lowe Post podcast (h/t Brad Sullivan of Lakers Daily) on Monday, ESPN's Dave McMenamin said the Lakers "have signaled to everyone listening" that Drummond is "part of the future moving forward with this franchise."
After receiving a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Drummond signed with the Lakers on March 28 to provide depth in their frontcourt.
Los Angeles doesn't have a lot of options at center for next season. Marc Gasol is the only player at the position under contract for 2021-22. His $2.7 million salary is certainly affordable, but he is 36 years old and best suited to be a part-time role player.
There are other key roster decisions the Lakers will have to make during the offseason. Dennis Schroder is eligible for unrestricted free agency, and Montrezl Harrell has a $9.7 million player option for next season.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports) reported in March that Schroder had turned down a four-year, $84 million extension from the Lakers.
Drummond has been solid for the Lakers. The two-time All-Star averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in 21 regular-season starts for the defending NBA champions.
Head coach Frank Vogel has continued to use Drummond in the starting lineup for the Lakers' first four playoff games against the Phoenix Suns. The UConn product had 15 points and 12 rebounds in Los Angeles' Game 2 win.