The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as strong favorites to sign center Andre Drummond, sources told ESPN on Saturday night.
Drummond approves the waivers on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, but could finalize a commitment to join the Lakers earlier this weekend, sources said.
The Lakers’ star players and the front office have been recruiting Drummond hard, selling him a chance to break into the defending champion’s starting lineup, sources said. The Lakers have had an inconsistent center game with Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell this season, and Drummond’s ability to protect the paint and rebound would allow him to make a significant impact.
All-Star Anthony Davis is also expected to play center minutes in the postseason.
Drummond and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, had discussions with various teams since reaching a purchase with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, including the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Celtics, Hornets and others, the sources said.
Drummond agreed to a purchase of the remainder of the $ 27.9 million remaining in his 2020-2021 contract. He will become a free agent this summer.
Drummond has not played a game since Feb. 12, after he and the Cavaliers decided they would separate until a trade or contract purchase was made.
The 27-year-old Drummond averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 starts this season with Cleveland. After the Cavaliers traded for a younger center, Jarrett Allen, Drummond’s role was reduced and the sides agreed that he would leave the roster active until a trade or purchase allowed him to move forward.
Drummond spent eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons before a 2020 trade to the Cavaliers. He was a two-time All-Star with the Pistons.