Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant has yet to suit up for a regular season NBA game, but the rookie has still stayed plenty busy.
Bryant was assigned to the South Bay Lakers, the team’s G League affiliate, twice last week to get some minutes practicing with the minor league squad as it holds its training camp as he sits inactive on the parent roster during games.
The Lakers announced Saturday that the team would again assign Thomas Bryant to their G League team for the third time this week, and according to the latter organization’s official Twitter account, Bryant is expected to be in uniform for them on Sunday when they host the Northern Arizona Suns at the UCLA Health Training Center:
We did receive word that he’s expected to play in Sunday’s preseason game. We’ll re-confirm tomorrow AM.
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) October 28, 2017
Bryant showed tons of promise during his time at Las Vegas Summer League after the team invested a second-round pick in him, so this move is likely less of a demotion and more of an opportunity for Bryant to show he’s staying ready should his name get called.
The Lakers also have a logjam in the frontcourt, with Brook Lopez starting while Andrew Bogut and Ivica Zubac both appear to be ahead of Bryant in the team’s rotation. Additionally working against the raw, first-year big man is that Julius Randle has also played minutes effectively as a small-ball center, further pushing Bryant down in the rotation pecking order.
With Bryant not getting minutes with the parent roster, it makes sense for the Lakers to try and get him some run in real, competitive games as they attempt to continue his development, much like the team did while shuttling center Ivica Zubac back-and-forth to the D-Fenders during his own rookie season.
The South Bay Lakers tip off against the Suns at 5 p.m. local time.