The Los Angeles Lakers have recalled Thomas Bryant from their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, the team announced Saturday morning.
During his 12 games in the G League this season Bryant has posted four double-doubles while averaging 22.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game. Most recently, he posted 32 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s loss to the Westchester Knicks on Friday night.
The South Bay Lakers, who are 11-4 and sit in second place in the Western Conference and first place in the Pacific Division, have been good without Bryant but are taken to another level while the versatile young center is on the floor.
The Lakers’ G League squad outscores its opponents by 3.6 points per 100 possessions without Bryant but eviscerates the opposition by 9.4 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
Bryant hasn’t quite received the same opportunities with the parent club, where he has yet to play a regular season minute after averaging 2.3 points and three rebounds on 75 percent shooting in 11.2 minutes per game during the preseason.
The 42nd overall pick of an NBA Draft generally isn’t expected to take on a large role with their team during their first season in the league, and in that way Bryant is no different than normal.
However, Bryant has shown a lot more promise than the players typically picked in that range, especially with the way he’s stroking threes in the G League (shooting 45.9 percent on 6.2 attempts per game).
For now, even though they’ve recalled him, the Lakers have seemed content to stay patient with their exciting second-rounder. Happy to let him play well in the G League while not having the pressure of contributing to their already crowded frontcourt during NBA games.
That might change as the season moves along and the team drops further from playoff contention, but for now that seems to be the Lakers’ plan, similar to how they developed Ivica Zubac last season.
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