Thomas Bryant is out for the season due to a torn ACL. And that got me thinking about him a couple years ago.
Back in October 2018, when Bryant would dress for games in plain clothes I asked some of the Wizards beat writers in Capital One Arena why isn’t TB getting any playing time from coach Brooks. The most common answer I got was: “Thomas who?”
I remember one evening after a game, I spotted TB with his mom. I came up to them to chat. I told her I couldn’t understand how come her son isn’t getting any minutes. She told me “go tell that to the coach!”
And so I did. In a way.
I ended up interviewing TB extensively, as well as his father and other family members, at a time when Bryant was getting essentially no attention from the media (or from Brooks). And I wrote the story about how a little boy who went to see the Harlem Globetrotters in Rochester made it to the NBA. That was my first story on BulletsForever, by the way.
As someone who was basically the first to follow TB’s Wizards career, I was also very saddened to see him go down on live TV.
Here is sending Thomas Bryant fast recovery wishes. Thinking of you, TB!
But the Wizards have to march on. In a beautiful piece, Matt Moderno reviewed available options to fill in the center spot using the expected $4.2 million Disabled Player Exception (DSE).
Let me add to this by redoubling on my pre-draft advice to sign European star center Edy Tavares, currently starting for Real Madrid, perhaps the best team in the EuroLeague. Currently, Real is 12-6 in continental play, tied with FC Barcelona for second in the standings. Domestically, or in La Liga ACB in Spain, they are first with a 16-1 record.
I am guessing that at $4.2 million this season, Tavares would be available. He is certainly not a floor spacer like TB, but rather a more traditional big. Yet he is a wonderful screener and rebounder, and a very good rim protecter. He is also an able PnR player, and rolls well to the basket (check out some highlights below). Perhaps he would pair even better with the declining version of Russell Westbrook that hardly attempts layups anymore.
Tavares is 28 and at his prime by all parameters, averaging 11 points, 7 rebounds in 23 minutes. His teammate Facundo Campazzo recently signed with the Denver Nuggets and there have been rumors that Tavares could be headed back to the NBA as well. He has spent a couple seasons in the NBA in the past, playing sparingly with the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
I have no idea if Tavares is available, but I think the Wizards should jump on the opportunity if it exists. Catch some of his highlights here: