After agreeing to terms with point guard Tyler Ennis, the Los Angeles Lakers had upped their roster to 13 players signed. Even though it has taken longer than expected, second-round pick Thomas Bryant was expected to be the next in line.
As the Lakers were looking to conserve as much cap space as possible for next summer, the negotiation was tricky. Nonetheless, the two sides were ultimately able to come to an agreement on a deal according to Shams Charania of The Vertical:
Sources: Lakers and No. 42 overall pick Thomas Bryant of Indiana have agreed to a guaranteed deal for next season, with '18-19 team option.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 27, 2017
The Lakers selected Bryant with the 42nd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Intrigued by his size, 7’6 wingspan, and outside shooting ability, the Lakers view Bryant as a developmental project who will take some time before growing into the player they hope he can become.
With this deal, the Lakers will have a lot of options in how to handle Bryant next summer. Their 2018 cap space is the most important thing to Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, and the front office and with this agreement, the Lakers keep everything intact.
Depending on who the Lakers are able to bring in next summer in free agency, the Lakers could conceivably decline Bryant’s option in order to maximize their cap room, before re-negotiating a deal to bring Bryant back.
Bryant became one of the fan favorites during Summer League with his constant energy and aggression any time he was on the floor. With the Lakers pretty crowded in the front court, Bryant could find himself down with the South Bay Lakers of the G-League much of this season.