Lakers’ Andre Drummond Keeping Options Open Entering Free Agency

It was a bit of a turbulent season for veteran center Andre Drummond.

After being benched by the Cavaliers, he reached agreement on a contract buyout, then signed for the rest of this season with the Lakers. But that experience was up-and down, as Drummond struggled to fit alongside LeBron James (when healthy) and Anthony Davis (ditto).

Drummond will now be an unrestricted free agent, and while he made it sound as if he wants to stay in LA, he didn’t commit.Andre Drummond

“I think I’ve learned so much just being around the coaching staff and my teammates,” he told reporters. “An incredible group of guys we have here. We’re looking forward to building more with them.”

When asked if that means he’ll be back, Drummond smiled and laughed.

“That’s not what I said. We have a lot of time for that,” he said. “The offseason is around the corner, so when that time comes around we’ll have those discussions.

“That’s something I have to digest. The season just ended, so it’s just something I have time to think about. Right now my focus is just spending time with my kids and decompressing this long year that I had. I’ll refocus on (free agency) when the time is right.”

It is also not known if the Lakers want Drummond back, or if they will pay him what’s necessary to keep him if they do.

Along with the Lakers, the Hornets, Celtics and Bulls are believed to have at least a passing interest in Drummond.

“The Lakers — due to salary cap limitations — are not allowed to pay Drummond more than approximately $6 million this offseason,” wrote Ron Gutterman of Lakers Nation. “That right there could be the reason why the center is not back with the team.

“However, if Drummond’s market is extremely limited and the Lakers want him back, then there is a chance for a reunion.”

Drummond turns 28-years old in August. He appeared in a total of 46 games with the Cavs and Lakers, compiling averages of 14.9 points and 12.0 rebounds.

But he appeared in just five of the Lakers’ six playoff games, averaging 9.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in 21 minutes a game.

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