The Lakers add center Thomas Bryant to the free hand, sources told The Times. Bryant, 24, spent his rookie season with the team after being selected in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft.
Bryant is expected to fight for a spot on the Lakers starting lineup, sources said.
When healthy, Bryant has demonstrated the ability to be a stretch five, completing more than 40% of his three-point attempts in limited action during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
Bryant suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear with the Washington Wizards in January 2021. At the time, he was averaging 14.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
His contract with the Lakers is for the one-year veteran minimum.
He joins a free agency class built on youth and advancement, joining Lonnie Walker IV and Tony Brown Jr. The team also signed Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones. All new Lakers are under 30.
The Lakers have 13 players under contract, not counting rookie Max Christie, who has yet to sign his rookie deal. Assuming he does, the team will have one open roster spot, although the Lakers can create another by forgoing Wenyen Gabriel.
The team can only sign players with the minimum of veteran.
Bryant played 27 games for the Wizards last season after recovering from his knee injury, averaging 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.3 minutes.
He was previously with the Lakers organization, like Jones, and played 15 games in the 2017-18 season. The Lakers waived him after that season as the team attempted to make room in the free-hand pursuit of LeBron James.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-07-05/lakers-thomas-bryant-one-year-deal Lakers are signing center Thomas Bryant to a one-year contract