The Miami Heat added center Thomas Bryant this offseason in an effort to beef up the team’s frontcourt depth.
Bryant is coming off a 2022-23 season in which he starred with the Los Angeles Lakers and later was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Of course, the Nuggets beat the Heat in five games to win the 2023 NBA Finals.
The former second-round pick signed a two-year deal with the Heat and appears to be ready to take on a major role with his new squad.
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Last season, Bryant recorded 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 62.3 percent from the field. He even showed off a bit of range, knocking down 44.1 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (59 attempts).
For a 23-game stretch in the middle of the season, Bryant started for the Lakers and averaged 14.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game on 62.6 percent shooting from the field and 48.6 percent shooting from downtown. However, he eventually fell out of Lakers head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation.
The Indiana University product wound up requesting a trade from the Lakers and was shipped to Denver as part of a four-team trade.
Bryant didn’t really find increased playing time as a member of the Nuggets, but he did end up winning the first title of his career. He and the Nuggets swept the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals as well. Earlier this offseason, he admitted he wanted to stir the pot a bit after defeating his old teammates.
For now, it’s unknown what type of role Bryant will play for the Heat. He could be the main backup for Bam Adebayo at the center spot, or he could start at center with Adebayo moving back down to power forward.
Kevin Love is back for another season with the Heat and figures to play a key role, so his presence is something to keep in mind when predicting what the Heat’s rotation will look like.
Only time will tell how Bryant’s tenure with the Heat turn out. Plenty of Heat fans are hoping it will be as successful as his Nuggets stint.