The Los Angeles Lakers are on the precipice of signing Andre Drummond, but that will not end Anthony Davis' minutes at center in the postseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Lakers plan to continue using Davis at center in certain matchups despite Drummond's impending signing. The two-time All-Star will clear waivers Sunday and is widely expected to head to Los Angeles, with several Lakers players recruiting him in recent days.
The Cleveland Cavaliers bought out the remainder of Drummond's contract after failing to find a trade partner before Thursday's deadline.
Marc Gasol has started at center for the Lakers most of this season. He returned to the lineup Thursday after missing nearly a month after contracting COVID-19 and is averaging 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.
It's likely Drummond's signing will significantly cut into Gasol's postseason minutes. The Lakers signed the three-time All-Star hoping his floor spacing and heady play would help enliven the team on both ends of the floor, but Gasol has mostly looked past his prime and slow on his feet.
Moving Drummond into the starting lineup will give the Lakers an athletic, rebound-hawking big in the middle, similar to Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee last season. The Lakers will almost certainly ask Drummond to wipe out the aspects of his game that go beyond dunking and rebounding, like they did with Howard and McGee. That recipe proved successful during the postseason bubble, with both Lakers bigs having their moments during the team's title run.
Davis, who has pushed back on a full-time center role, steps into the 5 when the Lakers want to open the floor or teams attempt to go small. He has a combination of size and athleticism on the outside that makes him switchable against small lineups while still offering the Lakers rim protection.
Of course, the Lakers will need Davis (Achilles and calf injuries) and LeBron James (high ankle sprain) to just get back on the floor before worrying about a title defense.