The Los Angeles Lakers‘ early playoff exit sends the franchise toward a critical offseason. Big man Andre Drummond’s future sits near the top of the list as he will head into free agency. Before Drummond reaches that point, he’s dropped another hint he may have played his last game with the Lakers.
Andre Drummond’s brief Lakers tenure
After this past’s season trade deadline, the Lakers added to their frontcourt by signing Drummond for the remainder of the campaign.
The 27-year-old quickly snagged a prominent role as the starting center. In 21 regular-season games, he averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 53.1% from the floor in 24.8 minutes per contest.
However, Drummond’s workload decreased in the playoffs against the Suns, averaging 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on 63.0% shooting from the field in 20.8 minutes per game. As he heads into free agency, the two-time All-Star may have dropped another massive hint that he’s done in Los Angeles.
Andre Drummond dropped another revealing hint that he may done playing for the Lakers
Drummond is among the Lakers‘ top offseason priorities as he heads into his first real experience in free agency.
The two-time All-Star hasn’t voiced a strong unwavering desire to return to Los Angeles, but he isn’t opposed to staying put if the pieces fall into place. However, the 27-year-old dropped another revealing hint that he may move on after responding to a fan’s suggestion on Instagram, entailing that he should dominate the paint more like Brook Lopez and Deandre Ayton.
“Tell y’all coach to play more and I could,” Drummond said via Bleacher Report.
Drummond’s comments speak to his continued decreased playing time as his brief Lakers tenure rolled into the postseason. In the first-round playoff series against the Suns, he averaged only 21.0 minutes contest and never topped more than 24 minutes played while being a healthy coach’s decision did not play for Game 6.
All that didn’t leave Drummond with the best taste in his mouth regarding his time with the Lakers due to head coach Frank Vogel’s handling of his minutes. He saw his role decrease when it mattered most in the playoffs. That alone could be enough for him to accept an offer to play elsewhere.
The question now becomes whether Los Angeles believes he can be a long-term fixture in a steady role or see his services as limited and not worth a lucrative contract offer. Time will tell if the two sides can come to an agreement that works for the betterment of both parties.
Los Angeles has plenty of critical roster decisions ahead this upcoming offseason
The Lakers‘ plans with Drummond will be quite telling concerning what direction the franchise heads in the frontcourt.
Marc Gasol is currently the only center under contract, and he recently voiced uncertainty concerning his future in Los Angeles. Drummond brings more stability to the position, but his brief tenure was a bag of mixed results.
Over the several weeks, conflicting reports have emerged regarding the team’s interest in his services for next season. His fate will go a long way in shaping the Lakers’ decision-making in free agency and the trade market.
On top of that, the front office holds other critical roster decisions with players, such as Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker, Wesley Matthews, and Markieff Morris becoming free agents. It all sets the groundwork for a pivotal offseason that the Lakers must navigate methodically to construct a team that can compete for an NBA title.