Andre Drummond Rumors: Celtics Were 'Considered' as Favorites Before Lakers Deal

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2021

Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, left, fights for position for a rebound with Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Andre Drummond may be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on the buyout market, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but he reportedly strongly considered the Boston Celtics

According to Jovan Buha and Jared Weiss of The Athletic, "Drummond spent Friday and Saturday meeting with the Lakers, Celtics, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets and was strongly considering the Celtics before ultimately deciding to join the Lakers Saturday evening."

Jared Weiss @JaredWeissNBA

The Celtics were considered the favorites to land Drummond off and on Friday and Saturday before he chose LA last night, per league sources. Ultimately, he could not pass on the opportunity to start for a proven contender & be an immediate focal point as LeBron & AD remain out.

Drummond, 27, averaged 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 25 appearances for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, shooting 47.4 percent from the field. He remains one of the game's best rebounders and a solid low-post scorer, even if his shot selection and rim protection leave plenty to be desired. 

Once Cleveland acquired Jarrett Allen in the sprawling James Harden trade, however, it became clear that Allen was the future of the position and Drummond—a pending free agent—was keeping his younger counterpart from getting more minutes. 

Cleveland and Drummond mutually agreed to part ways, though the Cavs couldn't find a trade partner, instead agreeing to a buyout. That cleared the way for him to sign with the Lakers. 

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

The contract for Andre Drummond in Los Angeles is the amount- $794,536- that he gave back in his buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Lakers will have a $554,988 cap hit. The Lakers are $954,349 below the hard cap and have enough room to sign a 15th player.

Los Angeles does have something of a logjam at center, with Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell already on the roster. The Lakers also have the option of playing smaller lineups with Anthony Davis at the 5 once he's healthy, though both Anthony and the Lakers have generally preferred keeping him at power forward. 

All three of L.A.'s centers have obvious strengths and clear limitations. Gasol is the best defender of the bunch and helps with floor spacing (36.4 percent from three), but he's also virtually nonexistent offensively if that outside shot isn't going down (4.8 PPG). 

Harrell is much better on offense as one of the better roll men in the league and fights hard on the glass, but he's a sieve on defense. And Drummond is the best rebounder and vertical force by far, but he's defensively lackadaisical and offensively inefficient (a whopping 31 percent usage rate, .500 true shooting percentage).

Dan Devine @YourManDevine

The thing I keep thinking about Drummond is the thing I used to think about Tristan Thompson in Cleveland, which is that rebounding doesn't matter until all of a sudden the other team can't finish a possession in, like, the fourth quarter of Game 6 and then it's all that matters.

Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball

How many times do we see a player that looks like he sucks in part due to inconsistent effort and then he winds up specifically with *the Lakers* and “OH MAN LOOK AT DRUMMOND”

Whereas Drummond will be a background player once Davis and LeBron James return, he would have filled a huge need in Boston at center, currently occupied by Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson. 

Drummond would have been an upgrade over both and given the Celtics a better option to go head-to-head with some of the Eastern Conference's talented centers like Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Nikola Vucevic (even if Embiid pretty regularly torches him). 

Instead, the 23-23 Celtics will hope a talented group of perimeter players in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Evan Fournier is enough to fight back up the Eastern Conference standings and make a run in the postseason. Thus far, the team's season has been a major disappointment. 

Drummond would have helped. Clearly, he saw the Lakers as a much clearer path to a championship.