Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said during the recruitment process in the buyout market the Lakers sold new addition Andre Drummond on how he fits on the team, and the fact that they are competing to repeat as NBA champions.
It appears the pitch job was successful, as the Lakers announced Drummond’s signing just before Sunday’s win against the Orlando Magic.
“We’re all thrilled to add Andre Drummond, a player of his caliber to our team,” Vogel said. “He’s one of the best centers in the league, someone that every defensive coordinator is going to have to account for and figure out how to handle him, while they’re trying to figure out how to slow down AD (Anthony Davis), Bron (LeBron James) and our guards.
“I think he’s going to give us a big lift in the immediate future, and then obviously when we get going. He’s just one of those guys that can dominate the game on both sides of the ball, and his physicality is something you have to account for.”
Vogel went on to say that he has talked with Drummond personally and he’s excited about the situation. However, he does not know when Drummond will be available to play in his first game. The Lakers are off Monday and will practice Tuesday. L.A.’s next game is on Wednesday against Milwaukee.
Vogel said Drummond was among a handful of guys the Lakers kept tabs on as the team moved closer towards the trade deadline last week, once the Cleveland Cavaliers made it known they were going to move on from him last month.
“He’s one of the most dominant rollers, lob catchers, post players, offensive rebounders in the game,” Vogel said. “Screeners -- the list is long to how he’s going to contribute to our group. And I do think he’s going to have an impact on our group right away offensively.”
Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said he’ll have another player to compete with on the boards, which has become his specialty this season.
““I think that’s somebody that’s really, really going to stand out, especially when we get AD back,” Kuzma said. “With me, him and Bron (LeBron James) fighting for boards, it’s going to be tough for other teams. If we can get him to buy-in defensively, continue to do what he does on the boards and keep it simple, I think it will bode well for us.”
The Lakers now have three centers Vogel will have to figure out how to rotate in Drummond, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol. Drummond appears a likely candidate to start once he’s deemed ready to play, and Vogel said he’ll need all three guys down the stretch and in L.A.’s inevitable postseason run.
Harrell is excited to have another big man on the team.
“Me being a player and understanding his position, this guy’s been sitting for almost two months where he hasn’t played the game that he loves and calls his job,” Harrell said. “So, anybody would be eager to get back out there and get after it.”