As the NBA world waits for a possible trade that brings Kyrie Irving to Los Angeles, the Lakers are making another move around the margins. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the team has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with Thomas Bryant.
The LA Times’ Dan Woike confirmed the report.
Bryant has spent five seasons in the NBA, including his rookie year in the purple-and-gold where he appeared in just 15 games as he spent most of his time in the G League. Over the course of his still short career, he has developed into one of the better shooting bigs in the league despite injuries often keeping him from reaching a higher ceiling.
Last season, Bryant averaged 7.4 points and four rebounds per game in 27 contests. It was a down year for him in the shooting department but his previous two seasons (in a total of just 56 games), he shot over 40 percent from behind the arc. Prior to last season, he also averaged double-figure scoring averages and at least six rebounds per game in three straight seasons as a Wizard.
Bryant joins Damian Jones in a revamped frontcourt rotation next to Anthony Davis. The young center duo should give the Lakers more athleticism and fresh legs than the DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard duo from last season. Bryant also gives the team a different profile at the center position which allows the team to space the floor more even when Davis is on the court.
Bryant returned from an ACL tear in January of this year, playing 21 of the next 22 Wizards games before playing much more sporadically in March and April.
The Boston Celtics were also reportedly in the hunt for Bryant, who will sign a veteran minimum contract, but the big man opted for a comeback story on the West Coast.
The Lakers still have one remaining open roster spot pending any other transactions.