The Los Angeles Lakers continue to tweak their roster ahead of the trade deadline. Fresh off of trading veteran guard Russell Westbrook in a multi-team deal, the Lakers have made another move, this time trading center Thomas Bryant to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Davon Reed and three second-round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Lakers receive Denver's second-round picks in 2025, 2026 and 2029.
Bryant signed a one-year deal with the Lakers prior to the start of the season, and he was pretty productive during his time on the floor in L.A. In 41 appearances (and 25 starts), Bryant averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per performance for the Lakers. He'll provide the Nuggets with a solid center option behind reigning two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.
The move was likely one Bryant was on board with, as he had grown unhappy with his role in L.A. and asked the Lakers to find him a better situation, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. Bryant is playing for a contract this season, so it makes sense that he would want an opportunity to play as much as possible in order to show his stuff. And since the Lakers were unlikely to re-sign him over the offseason due to their lack of financial flexibility, it also makes sense that they'd look to get some value in return for Bryant as opposed to losing him for nothing.
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For the Lakers, moving Bryant opens up more minutes in the frontcourt for new addition Jarred Vanderbilt, as well as Wenyen Gabriel. It also means that Anthony Davis will likely be tasked with spending more time at the center spot -- something he has been resistant to doing in the past. It remains to be seen how much Reed will contribute to the Lakers. He appeared in 35 games for the Nuggets this season but averaged just 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in nine minutes per performance.