Los Angeles Lakers: The biggest mistake the Lakers made this offseason

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Thomas Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Thomas Bryant (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a pretty good offseason, headlined by the addition of LeBron James. However, it still has not been perfect for LA.

President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka are delivering on their promises thus far. After over a year of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers landed the biggest free agent to hit the market this century, LeBron James.

LeBron joins a young core of Lakers that could all blossom into stars or be flipped for legitimate, already established, stars.

More importantly, the Lakers do not seem done, yet. With the team signing one-year deals almost exclusively, it is easy to see that the front office is preparing for a deep free agent class next summer.

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Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard headline the free agent market. With DeMarcus Cousins also being a free agent and Kevin Durant owning a player option, this is the perfect time for the Lakers to strike.

The summer of 2019 could serve as a changing of the guard from the Golden State Warriors to the Los Angeles Lakers. It all started with this offseason.

This offseason has been far from perfect for the Lakers, though. Some question the team’s free agent additions alongside LeBron (although I personally like them). It is not the added additions that were a mistake.

It was waiving Thomas Bryant and letting him sign with the Washington Wizards.

The Los Angeles Lakers gave up on Bryant fairly quickly, who was a second-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bryant did not have much NBA experience but was showing great signs of potential in the G League and continued that potential into the Summer League with Washington.

Bryant was named to the G League All-Rookie team, was a G League All-Star and was named to the First-team all NBA G League. He was one of the top five players in the NBA’s developmental league last season.

In the Summer League, Bryant was one of the best young players on the court for the Wizards. In 30 minutes per game, Bryant averaged 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 61 percent from the floor.

Bryant thrives as a traditional back to the basket center and has even developed a decent jump shot as well. He is very athletic, can get up and down the court and can be a menace on the glass as well as a good rim protector.

This is exactly what the Los Angeles Lakers need. The team is pretty thin at center and will likely need to play rookie Moritz Wagner there. Wagner is a good knock-down shooter but fits the mold of a stretch four more.

Bryant would give the team something it currently does not have, a good, traditional center. While he can help with his jump shot, the team could have focused on what he does best and utilize him by the basket, in the post and in transition as a finisher.

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Instead, the Los Angeles Lakers fell in love with the roster they currently have. And while it is not bad, every fan is going to miss Thomas Bryant come midseason.