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NBA Free Agency 2022: Thomas Bryant signs with the Lakers

The former Washington Wizards center fell out of the rotation in the 2021-22 season but gets a chance to reboot his career with a star-loaded team.

Washington Wizards v Detroit Pistons
Thomas Bryant is headed back to the first team he played for.
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, Thomas Bryant signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Various reports also say that Bryant will sign for the veteran minimum, which is not common for a young player like him at 24 years old.. It is his second stint in LA, after he spent his rookie season with them in 2017-18.

Bryant played for the Wizards from 2018-19 through 2021-22 where he became the starting center in most of his games (108 of 155), averaging 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. His best season was in 2019-20 when he averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and his 10-game stretch to start the 2020-21 season was very promising at 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Unfortunately, Bryant suffered an ACL tear early in the 2020-21 season and has struggled to find rotation minutes since returning midway last season. He averaged 7.4 points and 4 rebounds per game in 27 appearances but fell out of the rotation completely toward the end of the regular season.

In LA, Bryant will have a chance to become the starting center. which will allow Anthony Davis to play at his more natural power forward position and LeBron James to play at his natural small forward position — or maybe point guard if Russell Westbrook is traded. The Lakers, like the Wizards, didn’t make the playoffs last season. But if they are healthy and their chemistry improves, LA could be a deep playoff threat.