The Wizards have long been eliminated from playoff contention, but second-year big man Thomas Bryant is taking every late-season opportunity to establish himself as a long-term rotation piece for the club, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes.
Bryant recently impressed for the Wizards as the team closed out a tight contest against Phoenix. Bryant’s game-winning bucket, his second of the year, capped off a night in which he racked up 18 points and 19 rebounds, outplaying 2018 first-overall pick Deandre Ayton.
“My teammates believe in me. It’s a real big thing,” the Wizards big man told Buckner. “I give it all to my teammates, they believe in me to make that shot, time and time after I missed so many shots this month, this year. To have that confidence is great.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- While his stats don’t jump off the page, Michael Carter-Williams has made an impact during his brief stay thus far with the Magic, John Denton of the Magic’s official site writes. Carter-Williams’ length and versatility have contributed to several late-season wins but his future with the franchise is up in the air.
- Veteran Tony Parker will cede playing time to Devonte’ Graham, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Hornets coach James Borrego would like to give the 24-year-old additional experience and Parker is on board.
- If Kelly Olynyk logs 89 minutes over the final eight games of the regular season, he’ll earn a $1MM bonus built into his contract with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. That’s likely but not necessarily guaranteed. “It’s like one of those things that if you want it too much, you’re not going to get it,” Olynyk said. “You’ve just got to focus on the team and winning and the rest will fall into place where it may.“