Lakers Rumors: Andre Drummond Preferred to DeMarcus Cousins; Nets Linked

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are considered potential suitors for center Andre Drummond if the Cleveland Cavaliers buy him out.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Monday that the Lakers believe they would receive "strong consideration" from Drummond on the buyout market. Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported the Lakers would prefer signing Drummond to DeMarcus Cousins, who is a free agent after the Houston Rockets waived him.

The Brooklyn Nets are also viewed as a potential suitor for Drummond, whom the Cavaliers have benched while they explore their options ahead of the March 25 trade deadline. 

Drummond averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 25 games with the Cavs this season. They chose to move on from Drummond after acquiring Jarrett Allen and installing him as their center of the future.

While Drummond could help several teams, most contenders can't match his $28.8 million salary in a trade. Neither the Lakers nor the Nets can find matching salaries without giving up a bona fide star, so making a trade with the Cavs is a nonstarter. The few teams willing to engage thus far makes it increasingly likely Cleveland will be forced to buy Drummond out after the deadline.

A team like the Charlotte Hornets (a package centered on matching expiring salaries and a draft pick) could wind up having more interest in Drummond as the deadline draws near.

Don't expect much movement for Drummond until the waning days before the deadline.