After four years with the Wizards, center Thomas Bryant is returning to the team that drafted him, as he agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Bryant, still only 24 years old, started 108 of the 155 games he played in Washington. He averaged 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the field and 36.0% from three.
Bryant set the franchise record for field goal percentage in a single season in 2018-19. While Robin Lopez set a new mark two seasons later, Bryant still holds the records for effective field goal percentage and offensive rating.
Bryant now heads to a Lakers team that looks very different than the one he left in 2018. That was the summer L.A. signed LeBron James and they would later acquire Anthony Davis. Bryant now hopes to play significant minutes at center as the Lakers aim to get back to title contention after missing the playoffs last season.
Bryant leaving the Wizards raises questions about who will get center minutes behind Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford. The Wizards have a few prospects at that position, including Vernon Carey Jr. and Jaime Echenique who will be on their Las Vegas Summer League team. Washington could also add a veteran as free agency is ongoing.
Bryant was originally claimed by the Wizards off waivers from the Lakers. He blossomed into a starting center and was a key piece of their roster for several years before he suffered a partially torn ACL during the 2020-21 season. He returned last year to play 27 games.
Now the Wizards and Bryant are parting ways and he's going back to his original team.