Report: Wizards extends qualifying offer to Thomas Bryant
The Washington Wizards did not have too much to celebrate following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. One bright spot, however, was the play of big man Thomas Bryant.
A former standout at Indian University, Bryant was drafted with the No. 42 overall pick in the 2017 by the Utah Jazz before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant played sparingly in his rookie season, and was promptly waived.
But the Wizards claimed him in July of last season to supplement the addition of veteran big man Dwight Howard. And when Howard went down with an early injury, Bryant stepped in as the starter.
In 72 games–including 53 starts–Bryant averaged 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting over 60 percent from the field. He also showed at least some ability to stretch the floor, shooting around 33 percent from beyond the arc on 1.4 attempts per game.
The Wizards appear intent on keeping Bryant in the fold, extending a qualifying offer to the youngster:
Expected news here: The Wizards have extended Thomas Bryant his qualifying offer, according to sources.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) June 26, 2019
It will be intriguing to see what Bryant’s role will be next season. He figures to be a crucial rotation player whether or not he is named the starter, but Howard had also played well when he was healthy, and he is still under contract for this upcoming season.
The addition of top draft pick Rui Hachimura will also make things interesting in the frontcourt, although Hachimura figures to get more run at the three and the four.
Regardless, the Wizards will need guys like Bryant to take yet another leap if Washington hope to make a postseason run, especially given that John Wall is likely to miss close to half the season.