Mar 29, 2021
How Andre Drummond impacts the Lakers, more names for the buyout market, and Harden as MVP?
The Lakers played, and won, two games this weekend, one against a conventionally bad team (Cleveland), and the other against a catastrophically awful group (Orlando). Even shorthanded, they might not seem like much, but it can be argued these were the most important wins of the season. Without LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup, the team is poised to lose a lot of games. They're rarely going to have the best player available in any game, and often won't have any of the top three. So dropping games against low talent squads like the Magic, when better groups await (Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Miami, New York, etc.) would have been a disaster in the standings as the Lakers try to keep themselves out of any play-in scenarios for the postseason.
So after noting the significance, we get to the big news of the week - Andre Drummond is a Laker. He's a good player, but just how good is a matter of debate. Are his numbers just empty calories? Finally given a chance to play for something meaningful, will his game prove to be a little more versatile and efficient than he's shown? Will his defensive effort and attention to detail improve?
So what can he help the Lakers with now? Before LeBron and AD return? What about after? The rotation does get a lot more crowded... so who sits? And who else might be available for the Lakers, and the last roster spot? If it's Orlando's Otto Porter, L.A. should jump at the chance.
Finally... what do you make of the MVP case for James Harden? On the one hand, he's been spectacular in Brooklyn. On the other, he didn't cover himself in glory on the way out of Houston.