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Washington center Thomas Bryant done for season with torn ACL

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: Thomas Bryant #13 of the Washington Wizards is injured during the first half of the game against the Miami Heat at Capital One Arena on January 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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Thomas Bryant, the Wizards starting center who was having a career-year on the offensive end of the floor, is done for the season due to a torn ACL suffered in the first quarter Saturday night.

The injury happened less than two minutes into the Wizards’ loss to the Heat and it was clearly serious when it happened. The MRI came back on Sunday confirming the bad news, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and confirmed by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

Bryant was 14.3 points on an incredibly efficient 70.4 true shooting percentage, plus 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists a night. The offense was 4.1 points per 100 possessions better with Bryant on the floor; the problem is he gave up most of that on the other end of the floor — Bryant has not been the rim protector the Wizards needed on that end. Washington is 2-8 because of their 28th ranked defense.

Robin Lopez will move into the starting center role — which could help with the defense, although his numbers on that end are not good this season — but as NBC Sports’ Hughes notes, this really opens the door for Moritz Wagner.

Bryant will go through rehab that will last at least until the start of training camps next year and could bleed into the season — a challenge because Bryant will be in a contract year.