2021 Free Agency

Andre Drummond signs deal with 76ers

The former All-Star big man heads to the Philadelphia 76ers to play alongside Joel Embiid.

Andre Drummond averaged a double-double in the 2020-21 season with the Lakers.

One of the best big men on the free-agent market is headed back East. The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday they have signed Andre Drummond. Per multiple outlets, Drummond and the 76ers had agreed to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal.

Drummond is a two-time All-Star and four-time rebounding champion and will team up with current Sixers star center Joel Embiid to form a unique one-two punch. Drummond was bought out of his contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers last season and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He appeared in 21 games for the Lakers, averaging 11.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game after putting up 17.5 ppg, 13.5 rpg and 1.2 bpg with the Cavs. Drummond was acquired shortly after the trade deadline after agreeing to his buyout, but had very few games to integrate into the Lakers’ lineup and never seemed to fit well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Cavs acquired Drummond at the trade deadline in 2020 for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick. Drummond then entered the 2020-21 season in the final year of his deal and, despite putting up solid stats, was a player on the trade market last season.

The Sixers will have a unique big man combination in 2021-22 now that Andre Drummond is joining the team.

When the Cavs couldn’t find a trade partner for Drummond, they worked to structure a contract buyout for him and he played his last game with Cleveland on Feb. 12. Prior to his time in Cleveland, Drummond was with Detroit since the team drafted him No. 9 overall in 2012. During that time, he was Detroit’s only All-Star from 2010-18 and made the All-NBA third team in 2015-16.

Joining up with the 76ers and Embiid may seem to be an odd situation for Drummond for those who recall the history between the players. In the 2018-19 season, the then-longstanding discord between the big men added to its lore when Embiid had a monster game against Drummond in a 133-132 win on Oct. 23, 2018.

Late in that game, Drummond was ejected after picking up his second technical foul after Embiid scored. After the game, Embiid famously said he owns “real estate in [Drummond’s] head,” to which Drummond took to Twitter and called Embiid an “Emmy Award winning actor.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.