Los Angeles Lakers pioneers to win Andre Drummond

The Los Angeles Lakers have become solid favorites to sign center Andre Drummond, sources told ESPN on Saturday night.

Drummond clears the waivers at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, but is expected to formalize his decision to join the Lakers on Sunday, a league source told ESPN.

Star Lakers players and the front office recruited Drummond hard, giving him the opportunity to be part of 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 the rebound would allow him to make a significant impact.

All-Star Anthony Davis is also expected to play center in playoff minutes.

Drummond and his agent Jeff Schwartz have had discussions with several teams since their buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, including the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Celtics, Hornets and others, sources said. .

Drummond agreed to a buyback on the remainder of the remaining $ 27.9 million on his 2020-2021 contract. He will become a free agent this summer.

Drummond hasn’t played a game since February 12, after he and the Cavaliers decided they would go their separate ways until a trade or contract buyout.

Drummond, 27, has 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 diminished and the parties agreed he would leave the active roster until a trade or buyout allowed him to move to something else.

Drummond spent eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons before a 2020 trade with the Cavaliers. He was twice All-Star with the Pistons.