The worst-case scenario for Wizards center Thomas Bryant was confirmed by an MRI on Sunday morning, as he suffered a torn ACL in the team's loss to the Heat on Saturday night and will now miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season. ESPN first reported the news.
This is a crushing blow to Bryant and the Wizards, who have started out 2-8 and can ill-afford to lose any of their key players. Bryant is their third-leading scorer this season, averaging 14.3 points to go along with 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
Bryant, 23, now embarks on a recovery that usually takes 9-to-12 months. Next season happens to be a contract year for him.
In the short-term, the Wizards will have to make do without one of their best and most efficient players. Robin Lopez and Moe Wagner, their second and third centers, will be thrust into more prominent roles. Anzejs Pasecniks may also get a look after spending much of the season so far inactive or out of the rotation.
Replacing Bryant will be difficult for the Wizards, as he has emerged as one of the better scorers at the center position in the NBA. He can shoot the ball from long range and score at a high percentage around the basket.
The Wizards also happen to be missing Russell Westbrook (quad) and Bradley Beal (Covid-19 protocol) at the moment, leaving them without three members of their starting lineup. They are 2-8, having lost three straight games.
The Wizards were already disappointed with the start of their season and now they have been dealt another major obstacle in their hopes to turn things around.