With only the taxpayer mid-level exception and a litter of veteran minimum contracts to offer free agents this summer, the Los Angeles Lakers were going to need to find either aging veterans or young players in need of a little reclamation after less-than-stellar stops with their most recent teams. After the team spent their 2021 offseason signing far too many (or maybe just far too old) free agents resulting in a slugglish, lackluster roster, they naturally went in a different direction this summer by signing many young players. One of those younglings is Thomas Bryant who comes to the Lakers after four seasons with the Washington Wizards.
Thomas Bryant is basically the perfect embodiment of the “reclamation project” phrase you may hear tossed around NBA circles. What that means is that he’s not old enough to be “washed up” but he has reached a sort of impasse in his early career whether that’s due to sub-par play, injuries, not being able to find a role on his previous roster, or a combination of those things.
Our own Donny McHenry was fortunate enough to be joined by Bleav in Wizards podcast host and Bullets Forever blogger Matt Modderno to discuss Bryant’s time in Washington as well as how Matt sees his fit alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers roster.
After that, Donny and Matt discuss a couple of players that switched places in the 2021 offseason amongst a trade you might have heard about. Those two are Russell Westbrook and Kyle Kuzma.
Donny asks Matt if he could see Westbrook returning to D.C. after a buyout resulting from the Lakers dealing him away before this offseason ends. In regards to Kuzma, they discuss his impending unrestricted free agency and if Matt could see Kuz signing a long-term deal to stay with the Wizards.
Be sure to check out that podcast, and also check out the one Donny did a couple of weeks ago with NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer, discussing new signee Troy Brown, Jr.