Woj: Andre Drummond Picked Lakers for Starting Opportunity, Chance at Title

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 1, 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

Andre Drummond will make his first appearance since Feb. 12 when the Los Angeles Lakers play the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, with the big slated to start over Marc Gasol.

That opportunity was just one of the reasons he chose the Lakers following his contract buyout by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that Drummond chose the Lakers because he wanted to be a starter and have the opportunity to make a title run after qualifying for the playoffs only twice during his seven-plus seasons with the Detroit Pistons.

Drummond has had his share of individual successes, with two All-Star nods and an All-NBA selection to go with an All-Rookie nod, and he led the league in rebounding four times. But the 27-year-old has played just eight postseason games.

It will be a different story for Drummond with Los Angeles, as he'll slot into a lineup alongside Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris in the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

"The chance to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis and do it in L.A., at least for the next few months, was just too much for him to pass up," Wojnarowski said.

Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the star was also thinking about opportunities with the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks.

Drummond averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds through 25 games with Cleveland this season, making him a big upgrade over Gasol and his 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. The Lakers are fourth in the Western Conference with a 30-17 record.