Lakers Eyeing Drummond As Potential Buyout Target

The Lakers are in the market for frontcourt help and have some interest in a reunion with free agent center DeMarcus Cousins, league sources Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. However, according to O’Connor, Los Angeles’ preference would be to sign Andre Drummond if he receives a buyout from the Cavaliers.

Marc Stein of The New York Times adds (via Twitter) that the Lakers are optimistic they’ll receive “strong consideration” from Drummond if he reaches the free agent market.

In order for the Lakers to get a shot at the 27-year-old, they’ll need the Cavaliers to accept that there are no Drummond trades out there worth making. Cleveland has thus far been unwilling to concede that point — Chris Fedor of reported last week that the Cavs’ front office still believes it will be able to move him, even though others around the league are skeptical.

Drummond’s $28.75MM cap hit is the biggest impediment to a trade, since it will be a challenge for most teams to match that salary without giving up a more valuable rotation player. When Drummond was traded from Detroit to Cleveland a year ago, the Cavs gave up a pair of non-rotation players on expiring contracts, plus a distant second-round pick.

The Nets have been viewed as the most logical fit for Drummond if he receives a buyout, but if Blake Griffin plays well in Brooklyn, the team might not feel the same urgency to further address its frontcourt, which could open the door for the Lakers or another team to sign Drummond. Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell are L.A.’s centers, while Anthony Davis will also be in the mix later in the year once he gets healthy.

If the Lakers can’t land Drummond, Cousins could be an appealing option, assuming he hasn’t already signed with another team. Cousins joined the Lakers for the 2019/20 season but ended up not playing at all for the team after tearing his ACL — he still spent much of the season on the roster and was said to be a good locker-room presence.

Kings center Hassan Whiteside has been cited as another potential target for the Lakers, via either trade or – if he’s bought out – free agency.

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39 thoughts on “Lakers Eyeing Drummond As Potential Buyout Target

    • WallyWood

      Right, like he will get anything close to that in LA with AD and Harrell in the rotation. If Drummond goes there he’ll be lucky to get half those numbers.

  1. Tatsumaki

    Idk why people want Drummond, his advanced metrics both offensively and defensively aren’t good. Whiteside while not good offensively is still great defender and rim protector the lakers need (he will also be much cheaper to acquire) I’d roll with Jones and if acquired whiteside/cousins. I’d cut gasol, dudley or Mathews to free up an additional roster spot for a 3 and d player.

    • dfree123

      The Lakers are hard capped so if the cut Gasol, Matthews or Dudley they won’t have any money to spend to replace that player. The most they can do this season is to fill the remaining two roster spots with minimum deals most likely with players from the buyout market.

      • Tatsumaki

        @dfree123 so they cant just cut dudley or Mathews and replace them with a 10 day contract like Jones? Jones brings more than either of those I mentioned.

        • Lakers1

          Lakers are hardcapped thanks to Wesley Mathews signing because he was signed to veteran bi annual exception.. so not only has he not performed, he screwed up future signings

    • lovesexland

      Yeah agreed. Whiteside/Cousins fits a lot better than Drummond. I would go with Whiteside honestly because the Lakers don’t need to add a player that will take possessions away from LBJ or AD. He is also on a minimum deal and could swap him if they can match what the Kings will ask for.

  2. DrSeuss69

    lmao jesus much more help does lebron need?? whats next? zach lavine?

    • Lakers1

      How much more help does Kd need? I mean he had Westbrook and ibaka and harden in okc.. didn’t win.. went to join steph and klay and won.. left to join jordan and kyrie in brooklyn and recruited harden to play there. They add blake griffin..

      • DrSeuss69

        KD doesnt call himself the “GOAT” and KD played in a tough west for 80% of his career. Westbrook,Harden were like rookies back then lmao. Lebum has played with Bosh,Wade,Kyrie,Love,Allen,AD and now has two 6 man of the year on his team and looking for Drummond..Lebron fans are delusional. All the teams that beat lebron in the finals KD had to face in the first three rounds lmao

          • DrSeuss69

            exactly..they were basically rookies..OKC went against Prime Lebron,Wade,Bosh lmao but yeah lets knock KD for playing with a “stacked” team

            • Lakers1

              Durant was year 5, Westbrook year 4 and harden year 3.. hardly rookies.. is it lebrons fault okc owner was cheap and didn’t want to pay harden.. they also had ibaka who was a beast.

        • Lakers1

          Lebron calls himself the king.. players and fans use the term do understand that James did take a cavs team to finals with Gibson and ilgauskas his sidekicks. He also took warriors team to 6 games with kyrie and love both hurt..what has Kd done to lead a team.. leaves joins a warriors team that just beat his thunder team then cries because he wasn’t accepted like klay or steph.. he joined warriors and he joined kyrie in Brooklyn and recruited harden.. James went to Miami after trying to get bosh and wade to sign in Cleveland.. plus Cavs owner is a prick. Went back to cavs with kyrie there who had never been above 500.. they trade for love.. win a chip. Beat 73 win warriors team down 3-1 on their home floor.. joins lakers with no superstars.. had them as #4 seed and gets hurt in a game they destroyed the warriors. Then next year lakers trade a great package to get ad Ball, ingram and hart and picks.. first draft pick was deandre hunter who pelicans traded to hawks.. tbey piece the rest of lineup together to get ring. Team had 9 new players THat year.. Schröder they traded for this year and they signed Harrell.. all within the cap.. magic had worthy, Kareem, Michael Cooper.. bird had mchale and parish.. jordan has pippen and kukoc and Rodman and grant.. Kobe has shaq and gasol.. you don’t win without other superstars.. you penalize lebron for doing what others before have done and that’s have superstar teammates.. fact is lebron everybody said lebron can only do in East so he comes west and wins a ring.

        • Lakers1

          How many teams was lebron on that were favored in finals.. certainly not any of the Cavs teams he guided there but beat a 73 win warriors Team. Lakers weren’t favored last year.. it was all about the clippers and bucks.. heat we’re good and favored but they lost to
          Mavs team and a solid spurs he has 4 rings.. he was probably favored in 5 of the 10 finals he participated in.. Durant is 2-2 in finals and was favored in 3 of the 4 he played in.

    • lovesexland

      It’s crazy, why would good teams keep adding talent?? They’re so dumb.

      • DrSeuss69

        why does lebron need more help if he’s the GOAT? lakers without AD have more help than what Jokic,Lillard,Curry have and they dont complain like LeWashed

  3. Lakers1

    Drummond Would
    Sign with nets.. he’s from ny.. that would hold strong appeal.

  4. Lakers could use him, perhaps, but his chances to play a critical role on a playoff team are likely going to be greater elsewhere. Nets, obviously, but also a few other Eastern teams or the Mavs.

  5. hiflew

    It was bad enough when the buyout market happened AFTER the trade deadline, but now the top teams can just pick up guys before the deadline and put the rest even further behind. It’s getting ridiculous.

    Let’s just cancel the rest of the season and playoffs and go straight to a Nets v Lakers Finals. That seems to be all the league wants anyway. The rest is just filler.

    • LordBanana

      Guys love when players take discounts but hate when they go to teams on a buyout

      • Cap & Crunch

        Its the system that’s flawed

        Somebody in here said it best a month ago

        Trickle up Economics

        • Lars MacDonald

          Yup – The NBA is broken.
          All but the big market teams get totally screwed with the current system/process.
          They need to change the whole buyout process.
          It’s ruining competitive integrity.

    • DrSeuss69

      lol if AD is out , lakers aint making the finals..Nets seem like a lock though

  6. DeathbyDeathwest

    I wouldn’t mind a rule limiting the value of a buyout, or whatever else anyone else can think of. Maybe a lottery, or a rotation of who can offer a deal similar to waivers, without picking up the caphit of the bought out contract. This “free talent” pool distorts the competition in acquiring players the “right” way.

    I would even prefer Boston get flexibility in their TPE to put a trade together before the league lets Drummond go anywhere (especially LAL) for free.

    • Cap & Crunch

      As a Laker fan I agree!!

      It could just be as simple as reverse waiver ….. ofc the players wont like that idea but I believe when a player signs a contract (for a buncha money) that’s just part of the job

      Player always has chance to say No at any given time….if its bad enough that taking a roll of the Dice on 29 other teams, then the player has choice to go on reverse waivers and get a “new scene” but its not going to be of their choosing

      • DeathbyDeathwest

        Here, here!

        I like that idea, the teams rebuilding/”tanking” probably pass on adding him, and he falls to a team vying for an 8th seed, which seems way more fair.

        While I’m normally pro-player on such issues, if your worst case scenario is sitting out the last few weeks and playoffs in exchange for a bag, you don’t get to complain if you accept the bag. And if “buying out” the contract equates to “buying” the player out of the season altogether, I wouldn’t cry about it.

  7. El Don

    Dre fits a lot better with LAL than with BRK, as the Nets already have DJ in the team, gonna LA would get Dre a better playin’ opportunity & a better shot to the ring!

  8. Cap & Crunch

    It’s too bad they couldn’t just trade for JaVale McGee

    Could engage in a shady (ish) 3 team deal if everything was pre arranged but that just seems like too much work for a player like McGee and its a bad look imo

    ** On a different note – I really wish they’d give the lineup of Schroeder Caruso LBJ Kuzma at the 4 Davis at 5 a long long look together …They’ve really never played that lineup but I think its their most potent when rotations tighten later on. Kuzma has shown the rebounding chops to handle the 4 in modern day NBA ……. Iknow LAL likes Kuzmas scoring off bench and Anthony doesnt like playing the 5 but I think this is what it will take to take the whole thing, their gonna have to sqeeze every ounce of ability on what they have internally….help is not on the way

    Come playoffs the rotation should be 8 w a spare big picking up a couple mins as the9th guy – Kuzma should get 36 mins ride or die, Schroeder same, AD at least 24 mins at 5 and Caruso taking more of Kcps mins

    • mlbnyyfan

      Once again why are teams continuing to help LBJ teams. I can’t be the only one tired of him winning. Let someone else win. Let’s go Blazers with Lillard and Melo.

      • Cap & Crunch

        I dont understand your post….

        He damn well won that Cle ring with Kyrie alone (Drafted by Cavs)

        No outside team helped him in Mia …you can hat tip Bosh himself if you like but not an outside team

        Lakers had the best package for Davis hands down if Boston doesnt put Tatum in the deal…… Pelicans helped themselves for 5-8 years at the expense of 1 AD year…this is not an atypical modern Nba basketball move for a smaller market club these days ……. Lakers drafting well ( and lets be honest ;terrible for years) helped them secure that deal not ;some conspiracy

        • Tatsumaki

          Ad doesn’t want to play center. That’s the main issue, he forced lakers to sign bum gasol instead of playing center and allowing montrez to play his natural pf….if ad would just play center it would solve a lot of issues with floor spacing.

          • Cap & Crunch

            I know Tats…but it comes to a point where there has to be a conversation ….Lakers can promise future 5’s in upcoming years but if they want a ring chance this year, really, him at the 5 is probably the only route

      • WallyWood

        I remember when Melo first went to OKC to form the OK3 with him, Paul George, and Westbrook (such a memorable Big 3). Dame and McCollum were saying back then that if Melo had come there that the Blazers would have been serious contenders. Of course they have him now and no one considers them to be true contenders.

  9. Buyout additions tend to get minutes (certainly more than the back end of the bench), so they matter. But how many really make a post-season impact? Last year, Jackson helped the Clips, and Morris the Lakers, but I don’t think the end results are different if they stayed in Detroit. Philly, a few years back, added 2 shooters (Belinelli and Ilyasova) that really changed the look of their offense. I can’t think of too many others like that, particularly if you’re talking about 2nd half of the season buyouts (vs something like Batum getting waived). Drummond could be an exception too (if he’s bought out) especially if he goes to a team starved for a big C like him, i.e., the Nets. Just rare for a team to allow itself to be so lean at a spot that a guy released by a bad team can truly make them a better team.

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