Lakers Sign Center Thomas Bryant to a Veteran-Minimum Deal

Thomas Bryant (31) with the Indiana Hoosiers in 2017
Thomas Bryant (31) with the Indiana Hoosiers in 2017. Photo by Justin Cooper/CSM/Shutterstock (8500452i)

The focus for the Los Angeles Lakers so far in the offseason has been adding young players on the cheap. This theme continued on Tuesday when the LA team added center Thomas Bryant.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bryant agreed to a one-year, veteran minimum deal to play for the Lakers in 2022-23.

Bryant has been one of the better available centers left on the free agency market, but the teams were cautious about signing him to a deal due to his health issues. The 24-year-old player only managed to play 37 games in the past two seasons as he dealt with a series of injuries. This included a partially torn ACL.

If he manages to stay healthy, Bryant could receive an expanded role with the Lakers. The team needs a starting center if they want to play superstar Anthony Davis on power forward, and Bryant has proved he can be trusted in that role. He is especially useful as an offensive big who can finish around the rim and sink down a three-pointer from time to time.

This is somewhat of a homecoming for Thomas Bryant as he was drafted by the Lakers in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. He never received a fair shot during his first stint, averaging 4.8 minutes on the floor in 15 games, and left the franchise following his rookie season. Bryant eventually landed with the Washington Wizards, where he had a much better run.

Bryant’s NBA career stats include 10.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.