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Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#441 » by nate33 » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:20 pm

payitforward wrote:In response to something I suggested in the trade thread, nate writes:
nate33 wrote: I don't think the rest of the league values Bryant as anything more than a decent backup center on a somewhat expensive contract.

Independent of my trade suggestion there, I kind of doubt nate is right about how most GMs see Bryant -- or how they should see him-- for a bunch of reasons:

1. Youth -- Bryant turned 23 less than a month ago. There are players in this draft who are older than he is.

2. Last year's numbers -- Bryant posted really outstanding numbers in 2018-19. Comfortably in the top, say ,15% of all Centers. What those numbers mean is a different question, but the numbers were there.

3. Three-point shooting -- Bryant shot almost 41% this year. & in general was outstanding offensively (65% TS%).

4. After a slow start, all Bryant's numbers were on the rise the last 1/2 of the season.

Without initiating a big argument here, soberly in other words, what does anyone else think about Bryant's progress & potential?

For clarification, I value him more than as an overpaid backup center because I really like his attitude and effort and think he will continue improve. I just don't expect other GM's are prepared to price in his expected improvement to the same degree that I am.

As a player right now, I think he is virtually unplayable in a playoff series against a good team that can spread the floor. His lack of defensive mobility and rim protection is too much of a defensive liability. I think other teams know this and therefore do not consider him much of an asset. Who wants a player than can't get on the floor in a playoff series against a good team? That can change if he gets smarter and better and we institute a drop coverage scheme like Milwaukee with Brook Lopez. But that will also require guards who can fight through a screen.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#442 » by Ruzious » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:45 pm

nate33 wrote:
payitforward wrote:In response to something I suggested in the trade thread, nate writes:
nate33 wrote: I don't think the rest of the league values Bryant as anything more than a decent backup center on a somewhat expensive contract.

Independent of my trade suggestion there, I kind of doubt nate is right about how most GMs see Bryant -- or how they should see him-- for a bunch of reasons:

1. Youth -- Bryant turned 23 less than a month ago. There are players in this draft who are older than he is.

2. Last year's numbers -- Bryant posted really outstanding numbers in 2018-19. Comfortably in the top, say ,15% of all Centers. What those numbers mean is a different question, but the numbers were there.

3. Three-point shooting -- Bryant shot almost 41% this year. & in general was outstanding offensively (65% TS%).

4. After a slow start, all Bryant's numbers were on the rise the last 1/2 of the season.

Without initiating a big argument here, soberly in other words, what does anyone else think about Bryant's progress & potential?

For clarification, I value him more than as an overpaid backup center because I really like his attitude and effort and think he will continue improve. I just don't expect other GM's are prepared to price in his expected improvement to the same degree that I am.

As a player right now, I think he is virtually unplayable in a playoff series against a good team that can spread the floor. His lack of defensive mobility and rim protection is too much of a defensive liability. I think other teams know this and therefore do not consider him much of an asset. Who wants a player than can't get on the floor in a playoff series against a good team? That can change if he gets smarter and better and we institute a drop coverage scheme like Milwaukee with Brook Lopez. But that will also require guards who can fight through a screen.

What Milwaukee does is take away the middle and allows perimeter jumpers - including 3's. Lopez doesn't chase centers out to the 3 point line - and you can see Vucevic taking advantage of that - and Milwaukee didn't change their d at all. It works - they're #1 in defense. And really, their only athletic defenders are Giannis and Bledsoe. Bryant has similar physical characteristics to Lopez - with a 7'6 wingspan, 9'4.5 standing reach and limited defensive quickness. Those characteristics work in the defense that's the best in the NBA. And Bryant showed an all-around game in the bubble - with not just 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game; but also with 2.0 blocks and 1.4 steals - not to mention 40.5% shooting from 3 - which is a lot better than Lopez has been doing. Granted, it's just 8 games in a weird situation, but there's no question he was good, and he can keep getting better. What they need to do is get someone like Okongwu to play next to him and get a coach who understands what Milwaukee has done. There's no doubt in my mind that Washington can win with Bryant.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#443 » by long suffrin' boulez fan » Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:58 am

Ruzious wrote:
nate33 wrote:
payitforward wrote:In response to something I suggested in the trade thread, nate writes:

Independent of my trade suggestion there, I kind of doubt nate is right about how most GMs see Bryant -- or how they should see him-- for a bunch of reasons:

1. Youth -- Bryant turned 23 less than a month ago. There are players in this draft who are older than he is.

2. Last year's numbers -- Bryant posted really outstanding numbers in 2018-19. Comfortably in the top, say ,15% of all Centers. What those numbers mean is a different question, but the numbers were there.

3. Three-point shooting -- Bryant shot almost 41% this year. & in general was outstanding offensively (65% TS%).

4. After a slow start, all Bryant's numbers were on the rise the last 1/2 of the season.

Without initiating a big argument here, soberly in other words, what does anyone else think about Bryant's progress & potential?

For clarification, I value him more than as an overpaid backup center because I really like his attitude and effort and think he will continue improve. I just don't expect other GM's are prepared to price in his expected improvement to the same degree that I am.

As a player right now, I think he is virtually unplayable in a playoff series against a good team that can spread the floor. His lack of defensive mobility and rim protection is too much of a defensive liability. I think other teams know this and therefore do not consider him much of an asset. Who wants a player than can't get on the floor in a playoff series against a good team? That can change if he gets smarter and better and we institute a drop coverage scheme like Milwaukee with Brook Lopez. But that will also require guards who can fight through a screen.

What Milwaukee does is take away the middle and allows perimeter jumpers - including 3's. Lopez doesn't chase centers out to the 3 point line - and you can see Vucevic taking advantage of that - and Milwaukee didn't change their d at all. It works - they're #1 in defense. And really, their only athletic defenders are Giannis and Bledsoe. Bryant has similar physical characteristics to Lopez - with a 7'6 wingspan, 9'4.5 standing reach and limited defensive quickness. Those characteristics work in the defense that's the best in the NBA. And Bryant showed an all-around game in the bubble - with not just 18.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game; but also with 2.0 blocks and 1.4 steals - not to mention 40.5% shooting from 3 - which is a lot better than Lopez has been doing. Granted, it's just 8 games in a weird situation, but there's no question he was good, and he can keep getting better. What they need to do is get someone like Okongwu to play next to him and get a coach who understands what Milwaukee has done. There's no doubt in my mind that Washington can win with Bryant.


But not with Bryant AND Brooks
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#444 » by payitforward » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:04 am

nate33 wrote:
payitforward wrote:In response to something I suggested in the trade thread, nate writes:
nate33 wrote: I don't think the rest of the league values Bryant as anything more than a decent backup center on a somewhat expensive contract.

Independent of my trade suggestion there, I kind of doubt nate is right about how most GMs see Bryant -- or how they should see him-- for a bunch of reasons:

1. Youth -- Bryant turned 23 less than a month ago. There are players in this draft who are older than he is.

2. Last year's numbers -- Bryant posted really outstanding numbers in 2018-19. Comfortably in the top, say ,15% of all Centers. What those numbers mean is a different question, but the numbers were there.

3. Three-point shooting -- Bryant shot almost 41% this year. & in general was outstanding offensively (65% TS%).

4. After a slow start, all Bryant's numbers were on the rise the last 1/2 of the season.

Without initiating a big argument here, soberly in other words, what does anyone else think about Bryant's progress & potential?

For clarification, I value him more than as an overpaid backup center because I really like his attitude and effort and think he will continue improve. I just don't expect other GM's are prepared to price in his expected improvement to the same degree that I am.

As a player right now, I think he is virtually unplayable in a playoff series against a good team that can spread the floor. His lack of defensive mobility and rim protection is too much of a defensive liability. I think other teams know this and therefore do not consider him much of an asset. Who wants a player than can't get on the floor in a playoff series against a good team? That can change if he gets smarter and better and we institute a drop coverage scheme like Milwaukee with Brook Lopez. But that will also require guards who can fight through a screen.

These are solid points, certainly. & if Thomas Bryant becomes an average defensive big he will certainly command more respect & be worth a lot more. May it happen!
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#445 » by payitforward » Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:28 am

I agree w/ Ruz that the Wizards "can win with Bryant." & that they would need (Hell, they DO need) a new coach.

Bradley Beal turned 23 (the age Bryant turned a few weeks ago) a couple of months after the end of the 2015-16 season -- a year in which he played worse than he had his previous year & also played his lowest number of minutes (b/c of injury). At the time, this Board was chock full of posts calling for the team to cut his cable. He was never going to be good. He wasn't big enough. His neck was too short (! I hope some of you remember that one!). Etc. etc. etc. His handle would never be any good. He didn't play defense. Etc. etc. etc.

It's not that surprising. Fans want players to be good -- what else should they want after all??

Combine that with a guy being picked, god forbid!, in the 2d round, having no pedigree, & patience gets shorter yet. After all, to most people, it's basically impossible for a guy picked that late to be any good -- it's just a freak accident if it happens. If you don't think you're one of those "most people," just check your own posts on the idea of trading down in the draft. They'll tell you whether you are or you aren't. If you think it's a bad idea in principle, & in fact you can't really remember the last time that you were actually for doing it, then you can safely conclude that, yeah, you are.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#446 » by payitforward » Sat Sep 5, 2020 2:55 pm

JAR69 wrote:...I've always really liked Bryant (I'm confident I was the first person on this board to propose trading for him)....

I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#447 » by DCZards » Sat Sep 5, 2020 5:05 pm

payitforward wrote:I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?

Wasn’t Grunfeld the GM when they picked up Bryant? Do we know that it was Tommy who insisted the Zards pick him up...and not EG?

I know how much you hate EG, and understandably so, but he should get credit for the good moves made on his watch just as we blame him for the bad ones.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#448 » by pcbothwel » Sat Sep 5, 2020 5:40 pm

DCZards wrote:
payitforward wrote:I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?

Wasn’t Grunfeld the GM when they picked up Bryant? Do we know that it was Tommy who insisted the Zards pick him up...and not EG?

I know how much you hate EG, and understandably so, but he should get credit for the good moves made on his watch just as we blame him for the bad ones.


A number of sources have claimed TS had bryant as a 1st round talent in the draft and demanded that EG sign him. EG gets zero credit for that move.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#449 » by Wizardspride » Sat Sep 5, 2020 5:40 pm

DCZards wrote:
payitforward wrote:I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?

Wasn’t Grunfeld the GM when they picked up Bryant? Do we know that it was Tommy who insisted the Zards pick him up...and not EG?

I know how much you hate EG, and understandably so, but he should get credit for the good moves made on his watch just as we blame him for the bad ones.

Yes, it was Tommy.

Widely reported that he banged the drum for Bryant.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#450 » by payitforward » Sat Sep 5, 2020 5:50 pm

Zards -- it's even more specific than the last two posts would indicate.

There have been a ton of stories on this: Tommy walked into a meeting & said "we're doing this!" Ernie wasn't involved. For that matter, I'd be very surprised if Ernie had much to do with the pick of TBJr.

All the same, Ernie absolutely does get credit for both those guys. He was the boss of the organization; if you're going to blame him for the mistakes, you have to give him credit for the good stuff -- after all, it's possible that some of his gaffes were actually the work of others in the FO.

In fact, somewhere along the way I got the idea that Tommy was a big proponent of picking Vesely -- though I don't remember where I picked up the notion.

I used to hate Ernie, it's true. But, he's gone. Not worth paying any attention to. Not to mention that this is pretty much a totally different team -- incredible how quickly it happens.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#451 » by DCZards » Sat Sep 5, 2020 6:11 pm

Wizardspride wrote:
DCZards wrote:
payitforward wrote:I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?

Wasn’t Grunfeld the GM when they picked up Bryant? Do we know that it was Tommy who insisted the Zards pick him up...and not EG?

I know how much you hate EG, and understandably so, but he should get credit for the good moves made on his watch just as we blame him for the bad ones.

Yes, it was Tommy.

Widely reported that he banged the drum for Bryant.

If it's been "widely reported," I'm sure you (or someone here) can provide a link to at least one of those reports.

BTW, I'm not saying that Tommy was not an early fan of Bryant, but EG may have been as well.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#452 » by Wizardspride » Sat Sep 5, 2020 10:26 pm

DCZards wrote:
Wizardspride wrote:
DCZards wrote:Wasn’t Grunfeld the GM when they picked up Bryant? Do we know that it was Tommy who insisted the Zards pick him up...and not EG?

I know how much you hate EG, and understandably so, but he should get credit for the good moves made on his watch just as we blame him for the bad ones.

Yes, it was Tommy.

Widely reported that he banged the drum for Bryant.

If it's been "widely reported," I'm sure you (or someone here) can provide a link to at least one of those reports.

BTW, I'm not saying that Tommy was not an early fan of Bryant, but EG may have been as well.

I'll find more links later.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/07/19/wizards-remove-interim-tag-tommy-sheppard-name-him-gm/
In Sheppard’s situation, he had served as Grunfeld’s lieutenant for many years but also carried a wide load of responsibilities. During 2018 free agency, Sheppard championed Thomas Bryant, who at the time was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers after spending the majority of his rookie season in the G League
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#453 » by payitforward » Sun Sep 6, 2020 12:31 am

We've gone through this whole business about Sheppard/Bryant at least twice in the past. I'm not sure what the point is of going through it again.

It was Sheppard who told the story of going into a FO meeting & saying "we're doing this." It was Sheppard who said he had had "a first round grade on Thomas Bryant."

If you imagine that Ernie Grunfeld bothered himself with looking for young prospects who'd been cast off, then I guess you aren't remembering Ernie. In what 16 years at the helm? how many R2 picks did Ernie make?

Yet, there is no question that he gets the credit for any good moves the Wizards made in his tenure. He has to. Because he also gets the credit for every single bad move they made. That's what it means to be the man at the top.

The guy was one of the worst GMs in the league. One of the worst in the history of the league.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#454 » by dckingsfan » Sun Sep 6, 2020 2:44 pm

payitforward wrote:The guy was one of the worst GMs in the league. One of the worst in the history of the league.

And yet... there are still those that will defend him.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#455 » by JAR69 » Sun Sep 6, 2020 7:24 pm

payitforward wrote:
JAR69 wrote:...I've always really liked Bryant (I'm confident I was the first person on this board to propose trading for him)....

I don't recall that proposal by you -- or by anyone, for that matter -- which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

We didn't trade for Bryant, obviously. The Lakers couldn't keep him; they didn't have roster room. I surmise that, aware of his potential, & wanting him to wind up as far from the Lakers as possible, Pelinka gave the Wizards advance notice, & Tommy insisted that we pick him up.

Bryant had posted outstanding numbers for a Freshman then fallen off his Sophomore year -- yet... he had raised his 3 pt. % to .383. Seemed like plenty there to warrant adding him to our team which at the time looked like it was in complete disarray.

Did you suggest trading for him during his rookie year? Or...?


No reason for you or anyone to have remembered. Let's just say my idea didn't generate much interest. (OK, literally none.) It was as a throw-in to a Wall-Ball proposal from a few months before the Lakers cut Bryant. I could barely find it myself. But, as a factual point, it is near the bottom of this page: https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1665380&start=1560https://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1665380&start=1560

As an Indiana Hoosier fan, I had watched Bryant a bunch and thought he had potential. There were moments both during warm-ups and in games where you could see he already had a genuinely good long-range shot. But I didn't have him ranked that much higher than where he got drafted. More like end of first round/very early second round.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#456 » by payitforward » Mon Sep 7, 2020 12:11 am

Right you are! & very well done.

Lot of funny stuff on that page, btw.... Where is illmatic these days, btw? Not to mention Natp4.
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