The Cavaliers should give Thomas Bryant a shot.
Cleveland traded for Damian Jones from the Jazz this offseason, but their post depth could still benefit from another signing. The future of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley as a frontcourt tandem seems safe for now, but by the end of the season that might not be the situation.
By adding another center, the Cavs can lessen the blow of losing Allen in the case of a major trade shaking up Cleveland this year. After playing for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets last season, Thomas Bryant is looking to prove his value in the NBA. Bryant did not receive a minute of action during the NBA Playoffs, leaving him to be a forgotten free agent this offseason.
Firstly, it needs to be clear that Bryant is not a replacement for Allen, regardless of any trade. If Allen leaves the Cavs, Evan Mobley will almost definitely slot into the full-time five spot.
What Bryant provides is another talented big that can shift the Cavaliers’ playstyle when he’s on the court. Thomas Bryant would have the best shooting range of any big in Cleveland, spacing the floor whenever he’s called upon. Over his career, Bryant has averaged 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Last season, Bryant shot 44.1 percent from beyond the arc, though it was only on one attempt per game.
Defensively, Bryant lacks the killer instinct and dominance that Mobley and Allen have. He does not have the versatility on defense that Mobley shows, guarding both perimeter and interior rivals seamlessly.
Giving Bryant a chance to redeem his career in Cleveland is focused on his offensive specialties. He diversifies the Cavaliers’ offensive options, and he can work within a defensive system to help Mobley in the right role. Overall, Bryant is a low-risk free agent worth a shot in Cleveland.
The final free agent has been fighting for an NBA spot since last season, and his recent play in Summer League might give him that shot.