Sixers news

Drummond ‘in the mood for a Philly cheesesteak,' set to return to Sixers 

NBC Universal, Inc.

Andre Drummond let the world know Sunday night that he's “in the mood for a Philly cheesesteak.”

Minutes following that not-especially-cryptic tweet by Drummond, HoopsHype's Michael Scotto reported the veteran center has agreed to a “two-year, $10+ million deal” with the Sixers that has a player option in the second year. A source later confirmed those details to NBC Sports Philadelphia.

That means Drummond's in line for a second stint as Joel Embiid's backup. The first ended at the 2022 trade deadline when the Sixers included Drummond as part of their package to acquire James Harden from the Nets. Over 49 games as a Sixer, Drummond averaged 6.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

The 30-year-old big man enjoyed his first run in Philadelphia and sounded quite open to returning in January of 2023.

“I think just how much of a family this organization is,” Drummond said. “They welcomed me. They made me feel very comfortable when I got here. We just had a lot of fun as a team. We really cared about each other.

“We had one common goal, which was to win as many games as possible and be great. It’s sad that we had to break things up in February. I definitely miss playing here.” 

With the Bulls last season, Drummond led NBA regulars in offensive rebounding percentage, defensive rebounding percentage and total rebounding percentage.

Whatever happens elsewhere for the Sixers in free agency, they'll be confident Drummond can help them make necessary improvement on the glass. According to Cleaning the Glass, the team ranked 26th last year in defensive rebounding rate, and the Sixers' struggles there played a significant role in their first-round playoff series loss to the Knicks.

In a broader sense, the Sixers will also see Drummond as a player who can step into starter's minutes if needed and help them fare better than last season's 16-27 mark in games without Embiid.

Entering free agency, the Sixers’ only centers under contract were Embiid and Paul Reed (non-guaranteed, approximately $7.7 million deal for next year). The team also selected UCLA product Adem Bona with the 41st overall pick in the NBA draft. 

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