LAS VEGAS — Remember when Joel Embiid and Andre Drummond used to battle it out on social media and during games?
Come next season, the two will get a chance to go after each other during practice. Drummond has agreed to a one-year, veteran-minimum deal for about $2.6 million with the 76ers, a league source has confirmed.
This comes one day after Sixers backup Dwight Howard accepted a one-year minimum deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard was a member of the Lakers’ 2019-20 NBA championship team.
The Lakers and Sixers basically switched backup centers. Drummond signed with the Lakers on March 28. However, he played sparse minutes for Los Angeles in the postseason.
But this move gives the Sixers two centers with All-Star credentials. Embiid is a four-time All-Star and this past season’s MVP runner-up. Drummond is a two-time All-Star who also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season.
He began the season in Cleveland before being waived March 26 after being away from the team since February. After signing with the Lakers, Drummond averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 21 games.
But Drummond was Embiid’s on-court nemesis while playing for the Detroit Pistons. Actually, Embiid had a lot of success using trash talk to get the Pistons center out of the game. He made a habit of dominating Drummond, and let him know about it.
Embiid even said, “I feel like I own a lot of real estate in his head” after frustrating Drummond in a 133-132 Pistons overtime victory on Oct. 23, 2018.
The Cameroonian backed up those words in the Sixers’ 109-99 home victory a couple of weeks later on Nov. 3, 2018. He dominated Drummond and every other player Detroit used to defend him. Embiid finished with 39 points and game highs of 17 rebounds and two blocks that day. Embiid said he knew Drummond was scared from the start by the look in his eyes. Drummond only played four minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls. His backup, Zaza Pachulia, was pulled after picking up his fourth foul. He saw 9:40 of action. With both of them in foul trouble, Jon Leuer was left to defend Embiid for the final 8:09 of the half, collecting two fouls.
Following the game, Embiid took a shot at Drummond on social media while on his way to New York for the next day’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. He tweeted “I own a lot of real estate in @Andredummondd head and I’m on my way to build more #Bum #TheProcess”
But off the court, they had a better relationship than one would think.
Now, they are teammates.