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The Celtics' search for a backup center capable of stepping into a starting role continues.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Thomas Bryant is signing a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Haynes reports the purple and gold offered him a chance to win the starting center position. In Boston, he would've slotted in behind Al Horford and Robert Williams on the depth chart.

Along with the Lakers and Celtics, Bryant drew interest from the Raptors, Bucks, and Jazz, per Haynes.

Bryant, who's returning where his NBA career began, grew his game in the nation's capital, taking over the Wizards' starting center role. In 2019-20, he averaged 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks. He also shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc on two three-point attempts per game.

Ten games into the next season, he suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. But in 27 games in the 2021-22 campaign, Bryant, who turns 25 at the end of July, produced 7.4 points, four rebounds, and nearly a block while logging 16.3 minutes per contest.

While Bryant would've been an ideal addition to bolster Boston's depth at the pivot, remaining free-agent options include Ed Davis, Tristan Thompson, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and Hassan Whiteside.

Candidly, that's not the most appealing list, so perhaps the Celtics utilize at least a portion of one of their eight trade exceptions to add a center they deem a better fit.

It's certainly possible they find someone they like who they can acquire for a second-round pick. But going this route may come at the expense of a rotation member such as Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, Grant Williams, or a multi-player deal where Boston parts with one of its guards to add another wing.

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