Lakers Notes: Drummond, Gasol, Open Roster Spot

New Lakers center Andre Drummond will make his debut for his new team on Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, he said today, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link). League sources told Buha that Drummond is expected to slide into the starting lineup, displacing incumbent starter Marc Gasol, and head coach Frank Vogel confirmed as much today (Twitter link).

Despite some leaguewide speculation that Drummond’s arrival could lead to a buyout of Gasol, the Spaniard is unlikely to be waived, Buha writes in the same story. Vogel also confirmed that today, telling reporters that the club hasn’t spoken to Gasol about a possible buyout (Twitter link). The Lakers’ coach praised the 36-year-old for handling Drummond’s arrival like a “true pro” (Twitter link).

While Vogel said this week that the Lakers anticipate using Drummond, Gasol, and Montrezl Harrell, there likely won’t be enough minutes to go around for everyone, especially when everyone is healthy, and Gasol looks like the probable odd man out, writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • After sitting out for nearly a month-and-a-half, Drummond told reporters on Monday that he can’t wait to return to action, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “You can imagine the hunger and excitement I have to play and step on the court,” Drummond said. “I had an incredible month of work where I’m ready to play today.” The big man added that his goal is to “cause havoc in the paint” and that he believes he can further solidify a unit that already ranks first in the NBA in defensive efficiency.
  • Having signed Drummond to fill their 14th roster spot, the Lakers want to add a three-and-D wing to fill their final opening, according to Jovan Buha and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. It’s not clear which players the Lakers may be targeting, as there aren’t many current free agents who can reliably produce on both ends of the court.
  • Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said on Stephen A.’s World on ESPN+ on Monday that she welcomes the Nets’ efforts to load up their roster and knock off the defending-champion Lakers. “It brings out the best in us,” Buss said, per Royce Young of ESPN. “When teams identify us as the team to beat and they gear up to go at us head-to-head, that makes us work harder. So, bring it on.”
  • Earlier today, we relayed a report on Dennis Schröder‘s extension talks with the Lakers and broke down the point guard’s contract situation.
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