Welcome back, Andre Drummond.
The Bulls center told the Paper Route podcast by I AM ATHLETE he plans to opt into his player option with the Bulls this offseason.
"As of now, that's what my plan is," Drummond said when on the subject of exercising his option.
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Back during the 2022 summer, the Bulls signed Drummond using a mid-level exception, granting him a player option for the second year of his two-year, $6.5 million deal. Once Drummond officially opts into his contract, he will earn roughly $3.3 million next season.
Drummond played a significant role off the bench for the Bulls last season. Behind Nikola Vucevic with an average of 12 minutes per night, Drummond made the most of it. He averaged 6.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on 60 percent shooting from the field.
He played a hustle role with the second and third units, earning rebounds and acting as a solid rim protector when needed. His ability to muscle the paint and fight for the ball in offensive and defensive situations made him valuable to an undersized Bulls lineup.
His fit with the team is one of the reasons he wants to remain a Chicago Bull.
"In the grand scheme of things, I'm at a point where I enjoy where I'm at," Drummond said. "I love playing in Chicago. The team is great. I think we just needed more time to build chemistry together. We had a lot of injuries. There wasn't really any consistency with our unit because guys were in and out of lineups. I think with a fresh year I think we'll be fine."
As Drummond mentioned, the Bulls are in flux. They haven't had much success together and have endured countless detrimental injuries. This past season served, potentially, as the straw that broke the camel's back. The Bulls failed to qualify for the playoffs from the play-in tournament and notched a below .500 record.
The team hasn't had much time to build chemistry but they haven't shown any improvements in that area, either. Over the past two seasons, the Bulls have owned the 22nd and 14th-best offenses in the league. Their defense has been elite as a team. But they haven't put the pieces together on offense, despite possessing Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, two elite scorers in the NBA.
Nevertheless, Drummond's mission is to earn more playing time. He plays behind Vucevic and is sometimes relegated to a lesser role on the bench for Derrick Jones Jr. But Drummond showed enough last season to earn himself a more consistent role in the rotation.
"I think it's just a matter of chance," Drummond said. "Getting that chance to really showcase myself again with the team and really put myself back out there again."