AP source: Lakers trade Thomas Bryant to Nuggets for Davon Reed, three seconds

Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant (31) goes up for a dunk against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

DENVER — The Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets have agreed to acquire center Thomas Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers for Davon Reed and three second-round draft picks, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the teams haven’t announced the deal that took place at the NBA’s trade deadline.

The arrival of Bryant gives the Nuggets another big man to back up two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. Bryant averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Lakers this season, while shooting 65.4% from the floor.

The 25-year-old Bryant was taken in the second round by Utah in 2017, but was quickly sent to Lakers as part of a trade.

Reed has played sparingly for the Nuggets this season. The 27-year-old shooting guard is averaging 2.3 points.

With Jokic averaging a triple-double this season, the Nuggets have risen to the top of the West. But the conference got a whole lot more difficult with Kyrie Irving’s arrival in Dallas and the Phoenix Suns trading for Kevin Durant.

Jokic has plenty of help this season, though, with the return of max players Jamal Murray (he missed all of last season as he recovered from a torn ACL) and Michael Porter Jr. (sidelined last year by a balky back). Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been a big addition, along with Bruce Brown. Aaron Gordon is posting big numbers, too.

The Nuggets turned in their highest-scoring game of the season Tuesday when they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 146-112. It was their most points scored since Nov. 17, 2017. Jokic led the way by posting his league-leading 19th triple-double of the season by halftime.

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