The Wizards addressed a pivotal weak spot on Monday evening, claiming center Thomas Bryant off waivers from the Lakers.
The news came shortly after former Wizards big man Mike Scott inked a free-agent deal with the Clippers.
Bryant is entering his second year in the NBA, playing limited minutes through 15 games with the Lakers last year. The 20-year-old averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds over 4.8 minutes per game.
Here are five things to know about new Wizards center Thomas Bryant.
1. He has barely played in the NBA his first season
Bryant played just 72 minutes his rookie season. He rode the bench behind Julius Randle, Brook Lopez and more, barely getting any chance to prove his worth. Obviously the numbers won’t look like this, but his per 36-minute stats would put him at 11.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and a block per game. That’s with him shooting just 38.1 percent from the floor.
2. Bryant dominated in the G League
Though he barely played with the Lakers, Bryant played 37 games with the South Bay Lakers — LA’s G League affiliate. And there, Bryant was a star, being named to the All-NBA G League first team.
Over 30.7 minutes per game, Bryant scored 19.7 points and grabbed 7.4 rebounds per game. He also shot nearly 60 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from 3.
3. Bryant was a highly-touted high school recruit
Before entering his freshman year at Indiana, Bryant was ranked the No. 20 recruit in the country by ESPN. The Rochester, New York native almost committed to Syracuse but the Orange had been under investigation at the time — and eventually had scholarships vacated.
Bryant’s mom said that her son ended up at Indiana because the SU program had been in chaos. But Bryant said that was a non-factor and he felt more comfortable at the IU campus.
4. Bryant led the Hoosiers deep in the NCAA Tournament his freshman year
Bryant didn’t disappoint in his freshman year, shooting 68.3 percent from the field and putting together a steady 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds over 22.6 minutes per game.
But Indiana didn’t stop there. The fifth-seeded Hoosiers made it to the Sweet 16 after dominating Chattanooga and upsetting fourth-seeded Kentucky. Bryant led all IU players in the upset win over the Wildcats with 19 points and five rebounds.
Indiana’s magical run came to an end, however, at the hands of North Carolina. In the 15-point loss, Bryant scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to upset the top-seeded Tar Heels.
Though he saw his time on the court increase his sophomore season (28.1 mpg), his shooting percentage dropped to 51.9 percent. He finished the year averaging 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game before declaring for the draft.
5. This is technically Bryant’s third NBA team
Bryant was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft — by the Utah Jazz. But quickly, he was shipped out.
The big man was packaged alongside Josh Hart, the No. 30 overall pick, and sent to the Lakers for Tony Bradley, the No. 28 overall pick.
Hart became an integral part of LA’s team last year, playing in 63 games and scoring 7.9 points per game on 46.9 percent shooting.
Meanwhile, Bradley has played even less than Bryant — appearing in just nine games.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS: