The LA Lakers officially announced the acquisition of free agent center Andre Drummond on Sunday, making official a move that for days had been rumoured to be happening.
The two-time All-Star and four-time NBA rebounding leader agreed to a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday and subsequently cleared waivers. The Lakers signed him to the veteran minimum for the remainder of this season.
“Andre Drummond gives us powerful, anchor-point skills on both ends of the court,” Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement.
“We feel extremely fortunate to add a player of his calibre and magnitude to our core group at this stage of our journey to defend the NBA title.”
Drummond, using an image of himself in a Lakers uniform and cradling a basketball, posted the photo on Instagram on Sunday evening and wrote: “Back to work.” The post included a purple heart and a gold heart.
Drummond was not listed as active when the Lakers tipped off their game against Orlando on Sunday night.
The Lakers’ star players and members of the front office had been “recruiting Drummond hard,” according to ESPN.
Drummond, 27, and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, also had discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and others, sources said.
Drummond has averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games this season. He had been sitting out since February 12 while the Cavs unsuccessfully attempted to find a trade partner before last week’s deadline.
The Cavaliers acquired Drummond in February 2020 from the Detroit Pistons for John Henson, Brandon Knight and a 2023 second-round pick.
In 624 career games (573 starts), he has averaged 14.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.