Thomas Bryant, Center
The Denver Nuggets’ trade for Thomas Bryant was one of their few deadline moves and while it wasn’t an earth-shattering acquisition, the 6th-year man out of Indiana certainly represents an upgrade at backup center over veteran DeAndre Jordan. As he showed in a small three-game sample size with the Nuggets before the All-Star Break, the young big man brings a lot of energy and aggressiveness off the bench when he spells Jokic.
While the seven-footer is not a great defender, he is a more mobile and effective rim protector than Jordan and thanks to his good feet, is much more serviceable when he’s asked to switch out on the defensive end as well. Most of his value comes on offense, however, where Malone has praised his rim-running and ability to participate in the pick-and-roll whether as a roller or in a pick-and-pop setting.
Bryant isn’t a three point marksman by any stretch, but with a 44 percent clip on 1.2 three-point attempts a game, he’s not someone that can be left alone outside the arc, which will help the second unit with its spacing. Thanks to his solid post game and high motor on the offensive glass, where he’s averaging 1.6 boards this season, he’s someone who can have a positive effect on the offensive end without the team needing to run any plays for him.