After the Boston Celtics traded Daniel Theis in their deal to acquire Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers, their next step was to find Theis’ replacement. One such option was Thomas Bryant. On July 1, 2022, Chris Haynes reported on it The Celtics were interested in Bryant, but so were the Los Angeles Lakers. On July 6, Haynes reported that Bryant had picked the Lakers and also stated the reason he picked them: to have the opportunity to be their starting center.
Had Bryant gone to the Celtics he would not have had that opportunity as their starting center is slated to be Robert Williams III at the start of the 2022-23 season. If Bryant were to win the job as the Lakers’ starting center, he could potentially increase his value to earn a larger contract at the start of the 2023 NBA offseason.
Bryant began his career with the Lakers in the 2017-18 season before the team waived him this summer. Since then, he has spent the last four seasons with the Washington Wizards.
Haynes reported that the Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz also courted Bryant.
There was speculation that Bryant picked Boston
Before Haynes reported that Bryant had signed with the Lakers, there were some possible indications that Bryant had made a premature choice to join the Celtics.
On the 4th of July Bryant liked a tweet that answered a skeptical Celtics fan who asked why some thought Bryant could help the Celtics win a championship. The responder replied in two words: “You’ll see.”
After Bryant liked the answer, many thought it indicated that Bryant might have signaled he had already made his mind up on the Celtics.
That wasn’t the only time Twitter went into a frenzy over a possible lead linked to Bryant. On July 2, it was speculated that Bryant had been sighted at Logan Airport.
Much like the tweet that Bryant liked, this led many to speculate that his alleged trip to Boston indicated he was signing with Boston.
Regardless of why he liked that tweet, or whether or not he was at Logan Airport that day, it’s all irrelevant in the end because Bryant didn’t choose the Celtics. Now the only thing left is where the Celtics go from here.
Boston’s remaining options
With Bryant no longer a viable option for the Celtics, they must look to other frontcourt options. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported that Boston is still looking for depth of the apron following Bryant’s decision due to Robert Williams III’s injury history.
Who that might be, the remaining options available at your complete discretion include:
– Hassan Whiteside
– DeMarcus Cousins
– Markieff Morris
The Celtics could also use Evan Fournier’s trade exception to acquire a Theis replacement. They would have until July 18 to complete a deal worth $17.1 million or less. The Celtics will have a pretty hefty luxury tax bill to pay, however, and reports suggest they’re unlikely to take advantage of it after thoroughly researching the market.
If Boston wants a backup in case Williams gets injured again, they may need to take a closer look to see who could be out there to fill the void left by Daniel Theis.
Because they just lost a good option in Thomas Bryant.
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