The Andre Drummond signing is a correction, a transparent attempt to fill the Dwight Howard-sized hole that has festered in the Los Angeles Lakers' frontcourt all season long. Rob Pelinka made a conscious decision to prioritize offensive flexibility at the center position when he signed Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol over Howard, and it's a choice whose ramifications the Lakers are still feeling today. The ferocious physicality of last season's champion is gone. So too is the vertical spacing that helped make up for the Lakers' lack of shooting.
Harrell and Gasol aren't worse than Howard. They're different in ways that the roster hasn't fully recalibrated for yet. Drummond is a chance to recapture last season's formula. Harrell and Gasol's presence is an opportunity to improve upon it. The Lakers want a mix of both, to have their cake and eat it too. Howard's role as the team's designated garbage man and general agitator wasn't glamorous or especially difficult. He rebounded, dunked and block shots. Drummond can do those things, but he's never done them exclusively. Howard hadn't either until LeBron James got his hands on him. But Howard was 34 when he re-joined the Lakers, humbled by a non-existent free-agent market and mounting injuries
Drummond is 27. That's how old Howard was when he first joined the Lakers, and well, we all know how that went. It took years of declining play to disabuse Howard of the notion that posting up was a good idea. Drummond, smack dab in the middle of his prime, hasn't yet learned that lesson.