What, Drummond didn't want to go to Brooklyn? That's the hotness in the streets at the moment and they have do have a roster spot. I wouldn't exactly call this a surprise though since the Lakers had been reported to be the favorites to land Drummond for some time now. Personally, I'm relieved this happened. That feels weird for me to type considering I hate the Lakers with a passion, but I just wanted no part of Drummond in Boston and all those reports of Ainge making a push for him scared me. I know he's a big name, but just like I blogged last week, I'm not sure people realize what exactly Drummond does outside of rebound. Here's a quick recap
- He's shooting just 51.9% at the rim and 43% in the paint. That's pretty terrible
- NBA.com has literally zero tracking data of him defending the P&R ball handler. Love that
- In defending the roll man this year, he ranks in the 51st percentile. Offensively as the roll man in P&R, he's at the 8th percentile this year and was in the 27th percentile in 49 games as a Piston last year.
- In defending post ups he's pretty good against everyone not named Embiid, coming in at the 93rd percentile
- But offensively in post ups, he shoots 43% and ranks in the 30th percentile
- He does not stretch the floor at all. He has taken just 9 FGA outside of the paint all year. Last year in a larger sample, he took a total of 18 midrange jumpers and a total of 42 threes.
Perhaps being on a title favorite team will motivate Drummond and bring something new out of him, but there are still issues. Both Harrell and Drummond can easily be played off the court defensively in a playoff series. The Lakers don't really solve any issues on that end with this addition. I will say LeBron usually finds a way to get the best out of players because he's fucking LeBron, and if the Lakers decide to go double big with Drummond/AD, at least Davis might be able to help cover up Drummond's issues a little bit defensively.
The truth is the Harrell/Gasol signings haven't really worked out so far this season and I can understand not wanting to risk that shit come the playoffs. They just better hope he doesn't have to see someone like Joel Embiid in a potential Finals. Lakers fans are going to learn what a disaster that is rather quickly. We've also seen the Lakers be at their best when they play AD at the five and go more small, so I'm not sure how much this will even matter when games get into clutch time situations in a playoff series.
I'm also going to assume that after all the crying Lakers Twitter did yesterday about the Nets bringing in buyout guys that they suddenly won't have any issue with LeBron/AD bringing in help. Lakers Twitter is a lot of things, but I wouldn't exactly say consistency is a character trait.
Given their roster situation and how disappointing Gasol/Harrell have been, I can understand why they were so interested in Drummond, I just think if you look past his elite rebounding numbers there's not a whole lot to love about this current version of Drummond as a player. Maybe that changes, but sometimes you just are what you are.
But now just like the Nets, the Lakers have no excuses if healthy right? They were already the favorites with a healthy LeBron/AD, and now if Lakers fans want to talk about Drummond being this awesome piece, they have no excuse to not make the Finals/win the whole thing.