Thomas Bryant spent his rookie season with the Lakers back in 2017, having been traded there (with Josh Hart) on draft night. A development project, he didn’t play much that season, just 15 games, before the Lakers waived him to make room for other young bigs (Moritz Wagner and Ivica Zubac). Bryant went on to Washington, where he blossomed into a quality offensive big man.
Now he is returning to the Lakers on a one-year contract, a story broken by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Free agent Thomas Bryant has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal and will be given opportunity to win starting center position, league sources tell @YahooSports: https://t.co/J6Rg5ECNuf
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2022
No contract terms were released, a sign this is for the minimum.
Bryant played in just 27 games for the Wizards last season coming off an ACL injury in the 2020-21 season, and he showed some promise until the Kristaps Porzingis trade took away a lot of his minutes and left him on the fringe of the rotation. When healthy, he is a floor-spacing big man who averaged 14.3 points and shot 42.9% from 3 for the Wizards two seasons ago before he tore his ACL. Bryant is not known as a strong defensive, rim-protecting center.
Bryant’s ability to space the floor could play well off LeBron James when he posts up and would not clog driving lanes for any guards the Lakers might pick up who like to get to the rim. The Lakers roster is still being assembled, but Bryant should fit in and find a role.