Lakers Sign "Likely Starter" At Center To One-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Lakers had a bit of a revolving door at the center position this past season, cycling a number of players through the spot. Even LeBron James played the five on numerous occasions (and quite well, in fact). But they've now brought in a player who they hope can claim the starting center role for 2022-23, in former Laker Thomas Bryant. 

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers are signing Bryant to a one-year deal, and he "will be given the opportunity to win the starting center position, sources said."

The Lakers land Bryant despite serious advances from several other teams, including the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz. No terms of the deal have been announced as yet, but given that the Lakers already used their taxpayer mid-level exception on Lonnie Walker IV, this is likely a deal for the minimum. 

As Bryant himself noted on Twitter, he started his career in L.A., though he only got into five minutes a game for the Lakers as a rookie. Since then, when he's been on the court, he's proven his worth in the NBA, averaging 10 points and 5.7 rebounds, despite just 20 minutes per game of action. He's a 59% shooter from the field.

He played only 27 games last year for the Washington Wizards, after recovering from a torn ACL that wiped out most of his 2020-21 season. He was eased into action with the Wiz, starting only 9 games and playing just 16 minutes per game. With the Lakers, he'll get every chance to make it all the way back.

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