• Andre Drummond may leave the Lakers after this season for big money offers
  • The Lakers need to tweak numbers to keep Drummond, Harrell and Schroder
  • An NBA title could help Drummond, Harrell and Schroder relax their salary demands

The Los Angeles Lakers look pretty good on paper, but most of their key figures are sidelined due to injuries.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have yet to return, and most know that Andre Drummond debuted disastrously with a toe injury. It remains to be seen if these three men can return in their fine form and help give the Lakers back-to-back NBA titles.

Regardless, the ultimate goal for the Lakers this season is to win another NBA title. In a way, the injuries of the three players could be a good sign to preserve them for the tougher competition once the postseason comes around.

But once the 2020-21 NBA wars end, Los Angeles will be left in a conundrum once more with some names in the current roster possibly gone. Drummond is one of them.

Considering Drummond is coming off a big $28.7 million deal, he settled for a measly $794,536 deal with the Lakers for the rest of the season.

The reason behind it is obvious--try to win an NBA title and then worry about financial gains in the offseason.

If one is to look at the financial status of the Lakers, the 6-foot-10 center may not be affordable. Drummond is expected to seek higher pay after the current season.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Drummond may relax his demands and agree to lower pay. The best the Lakers can offer is via its mid-level exception. A taxpayer mid-level exception would allow Los Angeles to pay Drummond $5.9 million, while a non-taxpayer exception would be at $9.5 million.

Those are far-off numbers the Lakers can offer. Of the two, the former would allow the Lakers to sign other free agents such as Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell.

Schroder and Harrell are two players that could be available once the current NBA season ends.

Schroder is due for a new contract, while Harrell is more likely to opt out for higher pay. Hence, the Lakers need to do some pencil-pushing to figure out how to keep all three stars as much as they can.

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks scores a basket against Andre Drummond #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks scores a basket against Andre Drummond #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

One thing that could convince Drummond, Harrell and Schroder to relax their financial demands is an NBA title. All three have not won one, so that could factor in.

However, its impact is unlikely to be significant which means the Lakers cannot let their guard down.

All three are expected to get suitors, yet another worry that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka needs to consider.

Drummond drew interest from the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets although both are not exactly at that contender level.

But then again, money talks. This means it all boils down to playing for an NBA title or preferring financial security moving forward for all players concerned.