In a bit of a surprising move, the Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a one-year deal with two-time All-Star and four-time rebounding champion Andre Drummond, per a report by ESPN.
Drummond, who turns 28 next week, will slide into a backup role behind Joel Embiid, replacing Dwight Howard who left to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Drummond played the final months of the 2020-21 season with L.A. after getting bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Drummond joined the Lakers on a minimum contract because he was bought out midseason. But he figured to earn much more money this offseason on the open market and still has enough left in the tank to start for some teams.
Last season, he averaged 14.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He was fourth in the NBA in rebounding.
By joining the Sixers, Drummond must have favored joining a contender over making a higher salary. He has made close to $138 million in his career, but has never been on a deep playoff run. Though the Lakers won the title the season before, last year they were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Suns.
The Sixers, meanwhile, had the best record in the East last season. They then lost in the second round to the Atlanta Hawks.
Drummond going to Philadelphia is the biggest move yet by an Eastern Conference contender since free agency opened. The Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets have so far only retained their own or let players walk.
This may not push the Sixers over the top, but it should get them closer. That is, however, depending on what happens with Ben Simmons.