Two-time All-Star big man Andre Drummond is among the Los Angeles Lakers‘ top priorities this upcoming offseason. Drummond will hit the open market with the opportunity to shape the next chapter of his career. But, before he heads into that path, he touched upon how LeBron James will impact his future in Los Angeles.
Andre Drummond’s Lakers tenure
After the trade deadline, the Lakers signed Drummond for the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old quickly stepped into the starting role. He played in 21 regular-season games averaging 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 53.1% from the floor in 24.8 minutes per contest.
Drummond’s workload fluctuated in the first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, averaging 9.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on 63.0% shooting from the floor in 20.8 minutes per game. Drummond experienced highs and lows during his brief stint with the Lakers as his performance wavered.
As he heads toward free agency, he dropped some revealing comments concerning his Lakers’ future.
Andre Drummond reveals how LeBron James will impact his Lakers’ future
With the offseason set to begin in just over a month, the Lakers hold several critical roster decisions ahead.
Drummond sits near the top of the list as he will become an unrestricted free agent for the second time in the last few months. Before the two-time All-Star hits the open market, he recently voiced during a live stream on Lakers Central Instagram that he’s interested in continuing his tenure in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James.
“It was an incredible time in my career to have this opportunity to play with LeBron James instead of against him,” Drummond said via Lakers Nation. “Hopefully things go the right way and we’ll try to run it back again.”
Obviously, there is much more that needs to be worked out first regarding the contract figures. Drummond may want to continue playing alongside James and Anthony Davis, but if the money isn’t near what he desires, that scenario is out the window.
Drummond will likely command offers from several different teams, which will give the Lakers a baseline to work with regarding what it will take to retain him. Reports concerning Los Angeles’ interest are conflicting, from seeing him as a long-term piece to the front office only willing to present him a veteran’s minimum deal.
It’s quite too early in the process to gauge what the Lakers will do with Drummond. However, if the offer is respectable, he could get his wish granted.
Los Angeles must work through several crucial roster decisions
Drummond’s future is one of many decisions the Lakers must make in the coming weeks.
The only certainty is that the front office plans to center the team around James and Davis. However, general manager Rob Pelinka has also outlined that he intends to make the two stars and head coach Frank Vogel a part of the roster decision-making process.
Drummond presents an interesting dilemma for the Lakers due to a short time frame to see how he operated alongside Davis and James. Unfortunately, the 27-year-old only got to play briefly with the two All-Stars due to injuries.
James didn’t return until the last few games of the regular season due to reaggravating his ankle injury. Meanwhile, Davis only played the last two weeks before the playoffs.
Drummond showed flashes of promise working off James offensively in pick-and-roll situations while he struggled to find his groove defensively, often stumbling out of place. In other words, it was a mixed back of results that presents reasonable cases to either retain him or let him go.
The decision-making process concerning Drummond will determine the Lakers’ direction at the center position next season.