The Los Angeles Lakers have had several rookies with big contributions to a relatively successful season. Thomas Bryant has not been one of them, finding it difficult to get playing time on the parent roster. But the rookie from Indiana has been making major waves of his own in the NBA G-League.
On Thursday, the NBA’s developmental league announced that Bryant had finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, behind the Windy City Bulls’ Antonio Blakeney.
In 37 games for the South Bay Lakers, Bryant has averaged 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three. Bryant’s contributions nabbed South Bay the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, where they have won their first two matchups and are one more win away from the G-League Finals.
The 20-year-old has only appeared in 11 contests for the parent team, averaging only 3.1 minutes in those matches. But Bryant has shown enough flashes for the Lakers to consider him a valuable asset in their rebuild.
Bryant was drafted with the 42nd overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft after the Lakers traded back from the 28th overall pick to get both him and Josh Hart. Hart has had a more pronounced impact on the Los Angeles Lakers but Bryant’s raw potential is still enough to give hope that he can be a contributor moving forward.