Atlanta Hawks: 4 Realistic Options Hawks Could Sign in Restricted Free Agency

Thomas Bryant Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Thomas Bryant Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Thomas Bryant #13 Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /

Thomas Bryant

The Washington Wizards had something of a star-crossed season. Though expectations were fairly high, the team for the most part underwhelmed throughout the 2018-19 season and lacked any real cohesion. Sometimes, they looked like a feisty team that could play up to its opposition. Other times, they played so poorly that it seemed like they were already pondering what time the flight leaves for their next game.

Though Bradley Beal was an absolute beast all season, John Wall got injured and will miss a bulk of the season. However, there was a major bright spot for this team: Second-year big man Thomas Bryant.

Bryant was one of the few Wizards that showed consistent energy on both ends, something that his previous team (the Los Angeles Lakers) would have also loved to have.

At 6-foot-11 and nearly 250 pounds, Bryant is a load inside, which is an area the Atlanta Hawks need to improve going forward. As a big-bodied, rim-rolling center, Bryant was one of the most efficient players in the league this season for the Wiz.

Bryant ranks #1 in two-point field goal percentage at 67.5 percent, according to Basketball Reference. Across other scoring efficiency stats, Bryant also ranks highly: 6th in field goal percentage (60.8) and 4th in both true shooting percentage (66.6) and effective field goal percentage (63.9). He also went a perfect 14 of 14 from the field in a wild triple-overtime game against the Suns:

Bryant also showed some slight stretch to his game this year as well by attempting 92 three-pointers and making 30 of them (32.6 percent). Though his raw blocks numbers are unimpressive (0.9 per game, 65 total, 3.8 block rate), Bryant still ranks in the top half of all centers in ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus metric.

Though the replacement level for centers is extremely high in the NBA, Bryant flashed plenty of skill this year for the Wizards. If the Atlanta Hawks want to throw a decent-sized contract at him, that would allow GM Travis Schlenk to focus on drafting a wing or a defensive guard via the draft – as opposed to high-upside big man like Jaxson Hayes or Bruno Fernando.