Andre Drummond hasn’t played in an NBA game since mid-February after the Cleveland Cavaliers shut him down while looking to trade him earlier this year. However, that’s set to change later this week as the center’s new head coach, Frank Vogel, has made a decision on his availability status.
Drummond will make his Los Angeles Lakers debut on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, per Marc Stein of the New York Times. According to Vogel, the 27-year-old big man will be in the team’s starting lineup.
The decision comes as no surprise given the holes in the Lakers frontcourt since the injury of Anthony Davis last month. Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell have split time at center, but have largely been unable to meet expectations. Drummond is a presence Los Angeles desperately needed, especially with Davis and LeBron James sidelined.
Wednesday’s start will be Drummond’s first since Feb. 12, when his former team took on the Portland Trail Blazers. It will have been over 45 days since he’s played in an organized game, but now seems as good a time as ever.
Andre Drummond will start for the Lakers against Milwaukee on Wednesday night, Frank Vogel announces.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 30, 2021
Drummond’s numbers in Cleveland this year hovered around the same totals that they did during his eight game stint with the Cavs in 2020. He averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebound on 45.4 percent shooting, but saw his role decreased after the organization acquired 22-year-old center Jarrett Allen from the Brooklyn Nets.
With the Lakers lack of reliable production at center, Drummond should be an upgrade for the defending champs. The 27-year-old’s biggest strength is rebounding, but he’s shown flashes as a strong defender, particularly as a rim protector. He won’t be a primary offensive option for the Lakers in late-game situations, but should be able to score comfortably early on in games.
Vogel and the city of Los Angeles will get to see Drummond up close and personal for the first time on Wednesday night. The Lakers tip off against the Bucks at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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