Andre Drummond on Signing Lakers Contract: 'Not Here to Do Anything Besides Win'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMarch 29, 2021

FILE - In this Feb 5, 2021, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Andre Drummond drives the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in Cleveland. Drummond is now a free agent and can sign with a contending team after reaching a buyout with the Cavaliers. Drummond, who has not played since mid-February, began negotiating terms of the buyout with the Cavs on Thursday, March 25, 2021, after the club could not trade the 27-year-old. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Fresh off signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on the buyout market, center Andre Drummond has a very short list of priorities as he joins the defending NBA champions. 

"I'm not here to do anything besides win," Drummond told reporters Monday. 

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

Andre Drummond has a message for the Lakers Family 💜💛 https://t.co/qLblIuRUm3

The 27-year-old finally has a chance to play for a ring after spending the first 10 years of his career with rebuilding clubs in Detroit and Cleveland. He doesn't appear to be taking that lightly. Not after a decade in the league without a playoff win to show for it. 

That was a major factor in why he decided to join the Lakers.

"For me personally just having that playoff experience, but not that success," Drummond said. "It's something I was hungry for." 

Given the way he's played this year, Drummond should have plenty of opportunities to satisfy his appetite. 

The UConn product averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games with Cleveland before his buyout. Yet more than the individual numbers, Drummond gives a banged-up Lakers team another supremely talented big man it can rely on.

With Anthony Davis (Achilles) still sidelined, Drummond's importance can hardly be overstated with the Lakers sliding in the Western Conference standings over the past few weeks. He'll be arguably more vital when both Davis and LeBron James (ankle) return. Los Angeles' frontcourt will be able to go toe-to-toe with any opponent based on its size, shooting and agility. And if Drummond can help make life easier for Davis by the rim, the Lakers' title defense will get significantly easier. 

"I think our defense is going to be really crazy when those guys come back," Drummond said. "I'm looking forward to it. ... My defensive game is going to help this team a lot—my quick feet, my quick hands." 

After sitting out since February, Drummond might not make an immediate debut. The Lakers play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at Staples Center, but Drummond's status is in doubt.

Whenever he takes the floor it'll be the start of a new phase in his career—one that hopefully includes more winning than the last one did.