Los Angeles Lakers select Thomas Bryant with 42nd pick in 2017 NBA draft

  • 06/22/2017 11:35 pm in

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Indiana sophomore forward Thomas Bryant with the 42nd pick in the 2017 NBA draft on Thursday evening.

The Lakers acquired the 30th and 42nd picks in a deal with Utah Jazz for the 28th pick.

He’s the first IU player to be taken in the second round of the NBA draft since Bracey Wright in 2005.

Bryant was the second Indiana player selected on Thursday, joining OG Anunoby, who went in the first round at No. 23 overall to the Toronto Raptors.

As a second round pick, Bryant’s selection by the Lakers doesn’t come with a guaranteed contract. However, the addition of two-way contracts with the Development League (now called the G-League) should make Bryant a strong candidate to earn guaranteed money.

The 6-foot-10 big man was the fourth Big Ten player taken on Thursday. Michigan’s D.J. Wilson, Anunoby and Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan were all selected in the first round.

Bryant, who was named a preseason first team All-American by Blue Ribbon, averaged 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game.

Projected as a first round pick following his freshman season, Bryant returned to Bloomington as a sophomore, but didn’t improve his draft stock.

While he did average more minutes (22.6 vs. 28.1) and sported a higher usage rate (22.1 vs. 22.6) from his freshman to sophomore year which led to higher averages in points (11.9 vs. 12.6) and rebounds (5.8 vs. 6.6), his efficiency took a big hit.

As a freshman, Bryant’s field goal percentage of 68.3 was best in school history. His effective field goal percentage of 69.3 would have ranked him third in the country per KenPom had he played the qualifying 60 percent of Indiana’s minutes. Those numbers fell to 55.6 and 56.0 as a sophomore.

He did, however, prove he could knock down the 3-point shot with consistency as a sophomore. Bryant hit 23-of-60 from distance (38.3 percent).

Bryant joins Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 pick, Kyle Kuzma, the No. 27 pick, and Josh Hart, the No. 30 pick, in Los Angeles.

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  • TomJameson

    Been saying all along Thomas would be going mid to late second round. Very happy for TB, hope his dreams continue to play out. The way the G-League is now, it’s very likely he’ll be making some pretty good money, and will probably eventually get a NBA contract. Go TB.

  • HoosierHeel

    He got his opportunity, now he’s just got to make the most of it. Given what we know about Thomas, I am sure he will. Good luck, TB!

  • John D Murphy

    I think he’ll make the day one roster. They will love his work ethic and passion. They will fix his inside woes. TB will never be a star but he’ll be in the league for close to a decade.

  • Koko

    Good choice Lakers not only on TB but on Ball, Kuzma and Hart.

  • John D Murphy

    Ball is clearly the star of this class but the other 3 are solid rotation players and very high character guys. They will be easy to coach and act like pros from the first day.

  • recker

    He is going to be a beast.

  • AndyCapp

    Unlike Ball 😉

  • Surferelm

    Way to go Thomas…Hoosier Nation will be rooting for you!!!

  • IULore

    Ball, by all accounts was a great team mate. He is not his dad.

  • AndyCapp

    Never said he wasn’t going to be a great team mate. Only time will tell that one. But Lonzo made enough noise on his own, and certainly never backed down when his dad made a stupid comment, to suggest that he will be easy to coach or act like a pro… unless pro’s are supposed to act like belligerent children.

  • IULore

    So he needs to publicly defy his dad in order to be a good pro? I think you are making a lot of assumptions about him. Apparently teams didn’t see any red flags working with him to drop him lower. I’m not saying he is an amazing mature person, but I am saying there isn’t a basis to me antagonistic to him

  • AndyCapp

    What’s your problem Lore, I made a harmless tongue-in-cheek comment, not even to you, and you get your panties in a wad about a player that you probably don’t know any more about than I do.

    Your generalizations (“by all accounts”) are as assumptive as mine. “ALL” accounts, REALLY?!? There were plenty of accounts that, like his father, he publicly acts like a conceited, loud mouth prima donna. Maybe that’s YOUR definition of the pro’s way, not mine.