Andre Drummond, tries to get away from Bobby Portis.Tony Dejak / A
P The voracity of two of the reference teams this season in the NBA has been fully exposed in the movement of players in the last week. The Brooklyn Nets and the Angels Lakers have completed two rosters full of glittering names with the addition of two veteran centers of proven rank. As if it were a final in the dispatches, the Nets tied the knot with LaMarcus Aldridge on Saturday and the Lakers responded by hiring Andre Drummond on Sunday. The two had been released after terminating contracts with their previous teams: Aldridge, a 35-year-old, 2.11-meter, seven-time all-star center with the San Antonio Spurs; Drummond, a 27-year-old, 2.08-meter, two-time all-star center with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two increase the impressive roster of stars of two teams that already had an inside game with big names.
The closing of the transfer market – exchange of players in the NBA because it does not pay transfers -, had already been frantic the Thursday. The team changes affected names so important that they could be franchise players, such as Serbian center Nikola Vucevic in Orlando, now in Chicago; o Victor Oladipo in Houston, now in Miami
The moves have affected many of the favorites. The champions, the Lakers, the enhanced Nets, and also Miami, a finalist last season , and Denver and Celtics, conference finalists, in addition to the Clippers. The relationship of forces can change decisively depending on how the new pieces are adapted and the lost troops are replaced.
Marc Gasol will be one of those affected by the arrival of Drummond to the Lakers. The Spanish pivot, who reappeared on Thursday after missing nine games due to covid, averages the worst numbers of his career: 4.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, two assists and 20 minutes. He has started but has always played less than his relief, Montrezl Harrell, who is justifying the Best Sixth Man in the League award he received last season with the Clippers. Anthony Davis is the great reference in the interior game of the Lakers, although he suffers an Achilles tendon injury that has kept him inactive since February 14. The arrival of Drummond could displace even Marc Gasol from the starting five. The New York center is averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds this season in the 25 games he played in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers bet on promoting Jarrett Allen, who joined the team in January from the Nets after the four-way trade that brought James Harden to the Brooklyn team. The prominence of Allen, a 22-year-old center, relegated Drummond to the substitution who, according to the Cavaliers, has no longer played since he left on February 12, while a way out was sought. "Drummond gives us powerful and anchoring skills at both ends of the court," says Rob Pelinka, Lakers director of sport.
An all-star set
Aldridge's arrival at the Nets, second in the Eastern Conference, doubles their goal of conquering a title that they only achieved, with Julius Erving as the star, in 1974 and 1976, in the ABA, a professional league that was played in parallel to the NBA. Team owner Joe Tsai and athletic director Sean Marks have built a brilliant roster. In January they signed James Harden, in a team that already included Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The Nets complete a team full of 'All Stars' with the signing of Aldridge
The relationship is impressive and this is shown by the count of Times each of these players have been all stars : 11 Kevin Durant, nine Harden, seven Irving and Aldridge, six Blake Griffin, signed on March 8 from Detroit, and one DeAndre Jordan. In total, they have 41 all-star selections, the most accumulated by a team since the Miami Heat of the 2013-2014 season, with LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. Only the Celtics, with the 56 selections for the all-star game that their members accumulated in the 2010-2011 season, and the 43 from a season later, have surpassed the 41 of the Nets.
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