Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has underlined that Andre Drummond will be the team's starting center once he returns to the court. Drummond, who started the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before agreeing with the team to be released, signed with the Lakers after he entered the buyout market.
Drummond suffered an injury in his first game as a Laker so the Purple and Gold started experienced veteran Marc Gasol on Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors. Gasol had a great performance as he scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists in a 110-101 win.
"No, we're going to start Andre. That's what we signed him here for," Vogel said. "We need to get [Drummond] a ton of minutes to get him acclimated to our system with only X amount of games before the playoffs, and he'll be our starter.
... [Gasol's performance] doesn't change that."
Gasol committed to the Lakers though Drummond will be the starter
"I'll stay ready. I'm going to tell you this: I'm fully committed to the team.
I'll stay ready when my number is called," Gasol said. "I understand we have to get Andre acclimated to what we're trying to do. We have to get back our two main guys -- Bron [LeBron James] and AD [Anthony Davis] whenever they come back -- and they have to get that group going and get some chemistry going with the first unit for them.
I'll be ready no matter what happens. No matter if it's five minutes, 10 minutes, if it's whatever position. If it's some nights, I might not play. But I'll stay ready, no matter what. I made that commitment. "It's been a process for me to reassess this situation a little bit, but like I said, I'm fully committed to this team.
So, whatever is thrown at me, I'll be ready." Lakers coach Vogel is hoping that Drummond will be able to play the next game. "We're hopeful he plays against Miami," Vogel said of Drummond, looking ahead to the Lakers' next game on the schedule, Thursday against the Heat.
Gasol has one of the softest touches in the entire NBA. "You know, I can make a couple shots. I can play in the post. I can pass the ball," Gasol said. "I can do a couple things quite well every now and then."