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Andre Drummond leaves Lakers for Sixers in free agency

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The Lakers’ big 2021 midseason buyout addition didn’t exactly pan out, and now Drummond will leave Los Angeles for a fresh start with the Sixers.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns - Game Two Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

When Andre Drummond signed with the Los Angeles Lakers after being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers in March, fans hoped he would provide a spark to a team thrown wildly off course by injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James, and reinforcements for them on the glass when they returned.

Drummond was a decent role player, but did not come close to filling the massive void left by the Lakers’ two superstars, though that was probably an impossible task to begin with. Still, pretty much everything that has transpired on both his and the Lakers’ ends since the season came to close only seemingly served to rule out the possibility of a long-term future with the team.

Drummond has now officially departed for the Sixers, according to multiple reports:

In 21 games for the Lakers, Drummond averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, well below both his career averages and his output to begin the 2020-21 season in Cleveland. He seemed to enjoy playing on a winning franchise like the Lakers for the first time in his career, but also reportedly required a promise of a starting job to “secure his commitment” to sign with the team. Drummond also publicly criticized head coach Frank Vogel for not playing him more after the Lakers’ first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Phoenix Suns, though he later said the criticism was just to draw attention to his new NFT collection.

No, really, he actually said that.

That seemed to backfire as the crown jewel of his collection, a supposedly $50,000 NFT that included an opportunity to design a shoe with him, was drawing bids of fewer than $8 before SS&R editor-in-chief and crypto influencer Harrison Faigen tweeted about it and sent the bidding to the moon (or in this case about $620 as of this writing).

His free agency played out similarly, considering he had to just take a one-year, minimum deal with the Sixers after the Lakers signed their former reserve, Dwight Howard. Once there, he will be backing up his former tormentor, Joel Embiid.

Though Drummond seemed open to a reunion with the Lakers at one point, as did Vogel and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, the writing was on the wall as soon as the Lakers swung a trade for Russell Westbrook. The last thing the Lakers need on a roster headlined by the super-talented but shooting-deficient superstar trio of James, Davis and Westbrook is an old-school post player with no spacing ability — especially with Marc Gasol returning and Howard coming back — and thus, it comes as no surprise that Drummond has moved on.

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