An MRI performed this morning on Wizards center Thomas Bryant confirmed that he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Thomas was injured during the first quarter of Saturday’s game with Miami and had to be helped off the court by trainers.
Bryant, 23, was averaging a career-best 14.3 PPG, along with 6.1 rebounds and 0.8 blocks through 10 games. He will probably need nine to 12 months to recover and will be heading into a contract year, notes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports (Twitter link). Bryant will make $8,666,667 in 2021/22 and will be a free agent following that season.
Veteran Robin Lopez will probably take over as the starting center, Hughes adds (Twitter link), and the injury creates an opportunity for Moritz Wagner, who was recently removed from the rotation. Wagner has gotten into just four games this season and is averaging 11.5 minutes per night.
Washington will likely apply for a disabled player exception to offset the loss, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. It would be valued at roughly $4.2MM, which is half of Bryant’s salary for this season. Marks notes that the Wizards are currently $842K below the luxury tax line and don’t have a roster spot open. The deadline to apply is March 3 and it can be used until April 19.
The DPE can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade. However, it can only be used on one player and can only accommodate a player on a one-year deal. A free agent signee can’t get a multiyear contract, and any trade or waiver target must be in the final year of his contract.