Sixers sign Andre Drummond in free agency

Andre Drummond is headed to the city of brotherly love to unite with longtime rival, center Joel Embiid.

On Tuesday, Drummond and the Sixers agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, according to ESPN, which sparked witty responses from fans who’ve watched Drummond and Embiid’s on-court battles and subsequent social media spats.

While an Embiid-Drummond alliance sounds tough on paper, it’ll be interesting to see how the Sixers navigate the bigs.

Drummond will fill Dwight Howard’s place as Embiid’s understudy, as long as Embiid remains healthy. Howard agreed to return to the Lakers on a minimum deal Monday night.

The rivalry between Drummond and Embiid stretches back to at least Oct. 2017, when Drummond — while with the Pistons — apparently trash-talked with Embiid.

Andre Drummond #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on and smiles during the game against the New York Knicks on May 10, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Andre Drummond is reportedly heading to Philadelphia.
NBAE via Getty Images

“Defensively, he doesn’t play any defense,” Embiid said at the time. “When we started the game, he was being aggressive and he was talking, too. … So what I was like [in my mind] ‘You want to do that? I’m going to kick your [butt] then. So that’s what I did.”

In response to Embiid’s comments, Drummond tweeted the date of their next matchup that season, “See you Dec. 2nd [2017].” Before that game, Embiid took another shot at Drummond, telling reporters, “No disrespect but he can’t shoot.”

The rivalry hit its peak in 2018, when Embiid got Drummond ejected from the fourth quarter of a game when he flopped after Drummond’s arm flew near his head.

A few weeks later, Embiid called Drummond a “bum” in a tweet that read, “I own a lot of real estate in @andredrummondd head and I’m on my way to build more.”

More recently, Embiid has said his trash talking days are over following the birth of his son, Arthur in Sept. 2020. The 27-year-old also downplayed the Drummond beef in March 2020, when he told Bleacher Report, “We never had a problem, it’s basketball I talk a lot of trash. He does it on social media, I do it in the game.”

Drummond had stops in Detroit and Cleveland before the two-time All-Star joined the Lakers in March. He averaged 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 21 regular-season games with Los Angeles.

Drummond, who’s led the NBA in rebounding four times in his career, is still a solid defensive presence and could help the Sixers get back to the post season. The 6-foot-10 center does lack outside shooting — something Philadelphia needs.

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