Throughout the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, especially in terms of championships, there has always been a dominant big man who played a role. Well, it’s no surprise that as the team has struggled the finger can be pointed at the likes the likes of Roy Hibbert and now Timofey Mozgov. The Lakers rich history has taken a hit but can easily be put back on track with one deal. Magic Johnson must call the Detroit Pistons and work out a trade for Andre Drummond.
It sounds easy due to the Pistons wanting to move Drummond, however, there is one problem.
The Lakers are tied up in two bad contracts. One is Mozgov and his remaining $48M and the other is Luol Deng and his remaining $54M. If the Lakers are to make any sort of effort to make the playoffs, at least one of, if not both will have to be traded. The Lakers currently have $15M in cap space, however, if they could swing a deal for either Mozgov or Deng then that will clear up more room.
For his career, Drummond has averaged 13 points and 13 rebounds. He’s not on the offensive level of a Dwight Howard or Brook Lopez but the Lakers need him to do what he does best– rebound. The Pistons were looking for him to become a Shaq-like scorer but that’s not his game. Drummond is a rare breed in the NBA. A player who loves to do the dirty work with no pats on the back. The Lakers need a presence like his on the court with Mozgov putting up 7 points and 5 rebounds.
Andre Drummond will not come cheap as he’s in the middle of a 5-year contract that pays him $25M per year. Is Drummond worth that contract? No, but he is important to the Lakers. The questions is– will the Pistons be willing to take a cheaper player like Mozgov off their hands and open up the cap space the Lakers need to sign Drummond?
The Pistons are not happy with the progression or lack thereof of Drummond. Last season, it was rumored that Drummond was on the trade block but it’s not clear what the Pistons want in return. If I’m Johnson, here is my offer to Detroit. Mozgov, Corey Brewer, and a 2nd Round pick. This issue with Drummond is the same with Mozgov and Deng. Their current teams don’t want them for the same reasons other teams don’t. The contracts. By the Lakers taking on Andre Drummond they will set up a core that could have them in the playoffs for the 2017 season.
It may seem like a stretch to say after the team finished with a dismal 26-56 but times are changing. The Lakers have the No.2 pick in the NBA Draft, cap money and a young talented core of players in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle. Not forgetting new management under Jeanie Buss, Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka.
The time is now to make a move. The Western Conference is not as top-heavy as it once was and the right move could put the Los Angeles Lakers in-line for a top-4 spot.