Los Angeles Lakers rookie center Thomas Bryant has been moved to and from the G League affiliate South Bay Lakers for much of this season. His journey continued Tuesday, as the Lakers recalled Bryant in advance of their matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
With minutes tough to come by thanks to the glut of big men on the Lakers roster, Bryant previously expressed a desire to remain in the G League to continue developing his game. His efforts have paid off on an individual and team level.
Bryant has helped the South Bay to the best record in the G-League at 8-1 thanks to his all-around play. He has averaged 21.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks while shooting 59.8 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from deep.
Whether Bryant will be able to crack Luke Walton’s rotation remains to be seen. The Lakers are jammed in the front court with Brook Lopez, Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle all needing minutes.
There have been times where Andrew Bogut or Ivica Zubac has been thrown in for spot minutes as well.
Bryant undoubtedly provides a different look than any other Lakers big as he is quicker than the Lakers’ traditional centers in Lopez, Bogut, and Zubac, but brings a floor spacing element that Randle and Nance don’t.
Nonetheless, being with the main roster during at least part of this stretch will be a good experience for the rookie, and he should be better suited to help now, much like some of his teammates have.
Zubac benefitted from playing for South Bay just last year and Jordan Clarkson also spent plenty of time with the affiliate during his rookie season. Bryant’s fellow rookie Josh Hart has also looked much improved since returning to the Lakers after a couple games down in the G League.
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