The Los Angeles Lakers are currently battling to keep the ship afloat as both LeBron James and Anthony Davis rehab from their respective lower-leg injuries. After a whole lot of noise but relatively little actual movement at the trade deadline, the Lakers added only one major piece to a roster sans two superstars: Andre Drummond by way of the buyout market.
I will stand up and admit that I really did not think Drummond would be helpful for the Lakers outside of his rebounding when rumors of their interest first emerged. My coworker Ryan Phillips was more optimistic and it's looking more like he had the right of it, although the sample size remains tiny. Drummond played only 14 minutes in his debut before hurting his toe and missing the following three games. He's played around 20 to 25 minutes in the Lakers' last two contests, recording two consecutive double-doubles and posting a 20-point, 11-rebound line in his new team's big win over the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets Saturday night.
Drummond is not made for anything resembling a No. 1 scoring option role. Or No. 2 or No. 3 for that matter. If he is asked only to rebound and clean up missed shots offensively with no creation or even pick-and-roll action required, he's a quality addition. That will be his role eventually, and for now his ability to put up numbers will be crucial in keeping the Lakers above water while LeBron and AD work their way back. The Western Conference is so tight standings-wise that Drummond will prove his worth on the roster by making the difference between two or three wins this month.