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2021-22 Wizards player evaluations: Thomas Bryant has a setback season, falls out of favor after returning from injury

The center was the starter just one season ago. Now, he fell off the rotation and will likely be playing somewhere else next season

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards
Thomas Bryant came back from knee surgery to a Wizards team that has all but moved on from him.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Our series on Washington Wizards player evaluations continues with Thomas Bryant.

Stats: Bryant averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in 27 appearances for the Wizards this season, including nine starts.

Pros: Bryant was able to return to playing after his ACL injury in the 2020-21 season. In January and February, he played regularly in the rotation.

From Feb. 10 to Feb. 17, Bryant scored in double figures in four of five games played. Washington also went 3-2 during that stretch. He also had a strong performance on Jan. 17 against the Philadelphia 76ers, which you can see below.

Cons: For whatever reason, Bryant could not stay in the center rotation in March and April where he had 12 DNP’s and wasn’t active for the final game of the regular season, despite being healthy. Sure, Kristaps Porzingis’ addition didn’t help. But for some perspective, Anthony Gill only missed five games in March and April, and he also played the final game.

The numbers also aren’t particularly great for Bryant either. He shot a career-worst 61.6 percent of his two-point shots and was less efficient from shots 10 feet and less. Bryant was also expected to be a three point shooting addition from the center position and he shot just 28.6 percent from three. In 2020-21, he made 42.9 percent of his threes, though this only came from a ten-game sample.

Future Outlook: Bryant will enter the 2022 NBA offseason as a free agent. Given that he is one year removed from his ACL tear and hasn’t hit his pre-injury form, he will probably not get a big payday with his next NBA contract.

It is unlikely that the Wizards will re-sign him next season because they already have Porzingis, and Daniel Gafford’s contract extension kicks in next month. And given how this season turned out, Bryant is likely looking elsewhere for his next contract.