The prodigal son has returned back to Los Angeles. Six years after being drafted by the Lakers and four years after moving on from the franchise, Thomas Bryant has reportedly agreed to a deal to don the purple and gold once more, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Free agent Thomas Bryant has reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal and will be given opportunity to win starting center position, league sources tell @YahooSports: https://t.co/J6Rg5ECNuf— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 6, 2022
While in Washington, Bryant blossomed into a modern big man capable of stretching the floor. Bryant was waived by the Lakers in 2018 with the team looking to keep draftee Moritz Wagner and fellow young big man Ivica Zubac...neither of which lasted on the Lakers long-term.
Given room to grow with the Wizards, Bryant became what the Lakers scouting department likely believed he would become, averaging 11.8 points on 60.4% shooting overall and 37.4% 3-point shooting in his first three seasons on the other coast. A knee injury early in the condensed 2020-21 ended his season 10 games into the campaign.
His return came almost a year to the date after the injury but Bryant struggled to shake off the rust in the latter stages of the 2021-22 season. That resulted in him being forced to take a reduced deal this offseason at just 24 years old despite coming off a 3-year, $25 million deal. It was a decision that he deliberated upon to make sure he landed in the right situation.
For the Lakers, Bryant brings some much-needed shooting to the roster, especially in a front court spot. The Lakers have largely lacked a 3-point shooting center on the roster during LeBron James’ tenure. His shooting and spacing brings a different dynamic to the Lakers that they sorely lacked last season, assuming he is able to recapture his pre-injury form.