December 5, 2023
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The Los Angeles Lakers have signed former Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant on a one-year deal, the Guardian reports. Yahoo Chris Hines. Bryant will stand a chance of winning the starting position job, according to Hines, and his only rival, assuming Anthony Davis plays most of his minutes in attack, is Damian Jones, who the Lakers signed away from the Sacramento Kings.

Both Lakers are now in their second spell with the team. Jones spent a brief stint in Los Angeles during the 2020-21 season, but left for Sacramento after his 10-day contracts expired. Bryant was a second-round pick for the Lakers in 2017, but was relinquished after his rookie year.

He ended up as a member of the Washington Wizards. During his first 118 games as a magician, he averaged 11.6 points on 60 percent of shooting from the field and just under 37 percent from behind the arc, making him one of the most efficient men in low-use basketball. What the Lakers care most about Bryant is his improved 3-point shot. He made more than 40 percent of his attempts from deep during the 2019-20 season, and if that translates into, the Lakers will have found a way to play Davis at his favorite power forward without sacrificing distance.

The danger for Bryant is that he tore his ACL during the 2020-21 season and hasn’t looked the same since. He played just 27 games last season and struggled for a steady role in the rotation behind Montrezel Harrell, Daniel Gafford and later Christaps Porzingis.

But more time to enjoy a healthy roster with two Hall of Fame attackers by his side should only help Bryant, and although the Lakers appear to be working on a deal for Kyrie Irving, it’s worth noting that Bryant spent his limited time on the field during the 2020- campaign. 21 playing alongside Russell Westbrook. The shooting center will help no matter who their primary guard is.

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