Andre Drummond Contract Details With Lakers Leaked, Cap Space to Add 15th Player Available

Published 03/28/2021, 5:50 PM EDT
Jan 25, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond (3) drives between Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and center Montrezl Harrell (15) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports


The Andre Drummond to Los Angeles Lakers news is drawing all the attention right now. As per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he will clear his waivers later today and sign with the Lakers soon after. But does the team have the cap space to pay him?

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Let us first give you a background of Andre Drummond’s contract details. The center is in the final year of his four-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After pocketing $27.9 million for this season, he will enter free agency in this off-season.

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (left) and Anthony Davis against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Needless to say, his salary is big and one of the stumbling blocks as to why a trade could not have been negotiated for him. So, the Cavs now have no option, but to complete a contract buyout with him to release him from their roster.

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He will clear his waivers at 5 pm ET today, his agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management told ESPN. In the buyout deal, he will give a measly $794,536 back to the Cavaliers.

However, he need not sweat as the Lakers will be paying this amount to render his services for the remainder of this season. But how much cap hit do they take for this? Fortunately for the Lakers, the cap hit is less than the actual salary for Drummond that they will pay. It is just $554,988.

So, does this leave them enough room for the Lakers to sign another free agent?

The answer is yes. It is well documented that the purple and gold are spending well beyond the luxury tax limit to maximize LeBron James‘ prime years and contend for the title. However, teams can still only spend up to a particular time on player salaries.

That ceiling is called the ‘hard cap’. With the acquisition of Andre Drummond, it will still leave them $954,349 below the hard cap. This means that they have room to sign a 15th and the final player to complete their roster.

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Naturally, they will look to go after other free agents, who will come under similar buyout agreements. The most high-profile free agent right now is DeMarcus Cousins. He’s cleared his waivers with the Rockets and with Drummond signed, he could be walking into the Lakers’ locker room next.

This was much-needed, as the Nets have assembled an All-Star lineup. It gives them a proper shot at the 2021 NBA title.

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Bharat Aggarwal

688 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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