PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers and center Andre Drummond agreed on a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum Tuesday, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal will bring together Drummond, a two-time All-Star who has led the NBA in rebounding four times in his career, and 76ers superstar big man Joel Embiid. The two have a long history going up against one another several times a season over the past few years while Drummond was with the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
Embiid got Drummond ejected from the fourth quarter of a game in 2018 with a flop after Drummond's arm came up near his head, and then called Drummond a "bum" in a tweet a few weeks later.
For Drummond, however, this essentially turned into a swap between the Lakers and Sixers for backup centers, with Embiid's understudy last year, Dwight Howard, having returned to Los Angeles to rejoin the Lakers on a minimum deal Monday night in the opening hours of free agency.
It was just a few months ago that Drummond, after clearing waivers upon agreeing to a buyout with the Cavaliers, signed with the Lakers as the biggest-name player available on the buyout market. The fit, however, became more complicated over time, with Drummond's star in Los Angeles eventually dimming to the point that he was left on the sideline for the final game of the Lakers' season, Game 6 of their first-round series with the Phoenix Suns, in which he was a DNP-CD to cap off his short and rocky stint in Los Angeles.
Drummond averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 21 regular-season games with the Lakers, and although coach Frank Vogel repeatedly said he envisioned Drummond as part of L.A.'s future long term next to Anthony Davis, the team seemed to run more smoothly with Marc Gasol at center.
There was also a logjam at the position, with Montrezl Harrell -- who was traded to the Washington Wizards in a deal for Russell Westbrook -- also playing the 5.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, who represented Drummond back when he was an agent, expressed no regret after the season ended about having signed the big man.
"His ability to rebound the ball and protect the rim and give us athleticism and size in the paint was an essential ingredient to add to the team and something that we would do again and again," Pelinka said.
Now, the Sixers will be hoping those skills can be used effectively behind Embiid, a constant sore spot over the past several seasons in Philadelphia. The Sixers have had a rotating cast of characters at the backup 5 in recent years, including Greg Monroe, Al Horford and Howard. Drummond now becomes the latest -- and easily the most unlikely -- person to try to fill that job.
Philadelphia opened the offseason by re-signing guard Furkan Korkmaz to a three-year, $15 million deal, and later released guard George Hill, whose contract was largely non-guaranteed for the 2021-22 season. Veteran guard Danny Green remains unsigned and is one of the biggest names still left on the market after many of the rest went off the board quickly in the opening 18 hours of free agency.