LeBron James’ Lakers were rumored to be in the market for a superstar — possibly Kyrie Irving — but Los Angeles took a smaller turn in signing former Wizards center Thomas Bryant on Tuesday night. action.
Bryant, who has spent the past four seasons in the zone, and the Lakers agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran minimum. The 6-foot-10 big man entered his 25-year-old as the Wizards’ starting center for two seasons before a torn ACL ended his 2020-21 season and affected his 2021- 22 seasons.
According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, Bryant will have a shot at earning the starting center spot. The Raptors, Celtics, Bucks and Jazz are also reportedly interested in signing Bryant.
Bryant is a product of Indiana University and was originally selected by the Lakers in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft. But the team waived him in 2018, and he was drafted by the Wizards.
In his first 128 games with Washington, including 99 starts, Bryant averaged 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. But last season Bryant was mostly a backup, averaging 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 16.3 minutes in 27 games (nine starts).
He could be a good fit for the Lakers as a versatile big man who can both play in the post and pose a threat in the corner as a career 35% 3-point shooter.
After the team traded Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline last season, it’s no surprise that Bryant didn’t return to Washington. Porzingis and Daniel Gafford, a defensive post player, are expected to lead Washington’s center this season.