When Thomas Bryant elected to return to Indiana for a sophomore year of basketball, he assumed he would improve his borderline-first round draft stock. Instead, the second year in college did more harm than good for the 6’10” stretch-five. For the Lakers, it worked out perfectly once they traded the 28th overall pick for picks 30 and 42.
After a roller coaster of a Summer League for Bryant, the Lakers decided they liked his raw talent enough to sign him to a guaranteed deal. The deal also includes a team option for next season.
The Lakers would have been able to sign him to a longer contract, but the KCP signing brought the team over the salary cap. In order to sign with the team, Bryant had to sacrifice some job security in the process.
Bryant got off to a great start in Summer League, hitting a corner three on his first touch as a pro. He scored 10 points within his first five minutes of game action, but disappeared in the next round robin game. With his conditioning in question, he will need to fight his way for minutes during his rookie season.
After signing Bryant, the Lakers have one remaining roster spot. They will likely fill that spot with the $4.3M room exception. The Lakers also have one more two-way contract available to hand out. The Lakers’ off season is all but complete as we await the final signing.