Lakers Rumors: Thomas Bryant Agrees to 1-Year Contract, Expected to Start at Center

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2022

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 12:  Thomas Bryant #13 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 12, 2022 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers and free-agent center Thomas Bryant agreed to a one-year contract Tuesday evening, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported.

Haynes added that Bryant will get the chance to be the team's starting center.

The 24-year-old spent the last four seasons with the Washington Wizards, but he has been limited to just 37 games over the last two seasons and 83 games over the past three because of injuries. The most notable of those issues was a partially torn ACL, which cost him the second half of the 2020-21 campaign and most of 2021-22.

Bryant averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 52.0 percent from the floor in 27 games last season. He spent much of that time playing on a minutes restriction and then as part of a loaded Wizards frontcourt with Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford.

There were several points when Bryant was the odd man out of the rotation.

With Gafford under a long-term contract extension, Bryant's path toward returning to a starting job in Washington seemed unlikely.

The Wizards were also consistently better on both ends of the floor with the Indiana product on the bench. A change of scenery—on a short-term contract—seemed almost written in stone since he entered free agency.

The Lakers will hope a new team and some additional time to recover from the knee injury will help Bryant return to form as a promising young center.

Bryant will compete to be the starter in a center rotation that also includes Damian Jones, who signed to a one-year contract earlier this offseason.