Andre Drummond’s 2020-21 season did not go according to plan. After 25 games in Cleveland, the big man was asked not to play while the Cavs tried to find him a new home via trade, and when that didn’t happen, he ended up in Los Angeles via the buyout market. Drummond was promised a starting role in L.A., much to the dismay of Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell already on the roster, and while he posted Drummond-like numbers (11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game), the Lakers never quite coalesced in the way they hoped, and in the playoffs he got shuffled out of the starting lineup to his own frustration.
Figuring out what Drummond’s market would be as a free agent, both in teams that would pursue him and what type of contract he would be offered, was something few even attempted to do. Drummond’s ability to fill up the stat sheet is unquestioned, but he struggles on defense when asked to play in space and needs to be in the right situation to succeed.
It appears the market for Drummond never formed as he’d hoped, and he will instead look to find a more consistent backup role on a contender after the debacle in L.A. a year ago. Funny enough, he ends up swapping places with the man who replaced him yesterday on the Lakers, as he is headed to the Philadelphia 76ers on a 1-year minimum deal, taking the spot Dwight Howard vacated in his return to L.A.
Free agent C Andre Drummond has agreed to a one-year deal with the 76ers, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Andre Drummond’s deal is for the minimum, per source
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) August 3, 2021
It’s an especially interesting signing considering the history between Drummond and Embiid, who used to love trolling Drummond in their matchups when Drummond was in Detroit, once calling him a “bum.”
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) November 3, 2018
That is now his backup, and if nothing else it’s going to be fascinating to see how those two coexist. From a team-building perspective, the signing makes some sense given how the backup big man market has taken shape, with few high quality options still available and, as noted previously, Drummond is a very good rebounder and scores well around the basket. Still, it was a pretty surprising signing and we’ll await Embiid’s reaction, but for a minimum deal, it’s a pretty low-risk maneuver.