The Washington Wizards wasted little time locking up their young center for the next three years. Thomas Bryant is staying in DC.
Less than one hour into the official free agency period, the Washington Wizards have already taken care of their top priority: Thomas Bryant. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Thomas Bryant and the Wizards have agreed to a three-year deal worth $25 million.
The Wizards had made it clear that Bryant was a top priority for them heading into free agency. Last week, they offered him a qualifying offer to ensure they had at least a chance to match or consider matching, an offer from another team. It never quite got that far though.
Bryant was one of the few silver linings to an otherwise totally terrible last season for the Wizards. The Wizards scooped Bryant up after the Los Angeles Lakers let him walk and just about a year later, the Wizards are hoping he could be their big man of the future.
If Bryant can continue to progress like the Wizards hope he can, the 21-year-old center could end up being a steal at just over $8 million per year on average. In his one and only season as a Wizard, Bryant averaged 10.8 points on 61.6 percent shooting. A highly efficient offensive game around the rim helped him earn that impressive field goal percentage, but Bryant also proved he could stretch the floor. Throughout the season, Bryant flashed some three-point range and shot a passable 33 percent on the year.
In his sophomore season with the Wizards, Bryant needs to show some improvement on the boards and on the defensive end. Despite the nonstop, high energy play, Bryant averaged a mere 6.3 rebounds per game last season as the Wizards’ premier post player.
It may not be a signing that will move the needle of the NBA like Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets or Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics, but it’s a move the Wizards needed to make. Another point for interim general manager Tommy Sheppard.