Patrick O’Bryant was selected ninth overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. In a draft that included high-profile busts like Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas and, depending on who you ask, first overall pick in the draft Andre Bargnani, O’Bryant is another bust on that list, just with a less memorable flame-out in the Association.
In his sophomore season, his final year before entering the draft, at Bradley, the seven-footer was quite productive. In 25 games he averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 2.9 blocks in just 25.7 minutes per game while shooting 55.2 percent from the floor. With a 7’6” wingspan, solid rebounding ability, potentially elite shot-blocking ability and a workable offensive game, O’Bryant seemed like he could make it in the NBA.
Over four seasons in the league, though, O’Bryant never shined quite like he did in college. He played in just 90 games over those four seasons and averaged just 2.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in only 5.8 minutes per game.
Since the end of the 2009-2010 season, the last time O’Bryant played in the NBA, he has been cut in the preseason by a Chinese team, played in the D-League on two separate occasions, and has spent time in Greece, Puerto Rico and Lithuania.
Now he has a chance to find his way onto an NBA roster. O’Bryant is reportedly one of the players being invited to training camp by the Charlotte Bobcats, a team trying to inject new life into their roster and, more specifically, their frontcourt.
Last year, O’Bryant played nine games in Lithuania and four games in the D-League. In his nine games overseas he played only 9.3 minutes per game and averaged just 4.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. In his four D-League games with the Reno Big Horns he was much more impressive. He averaged 10.3 points, six rebounds and one block in 22.8 minutes per game while shooting 61.3 percent from the floor.
Though he’s well-traveled in the basketball world at this point, O’Bryant is still only 27 years old. As he comes to Bobcats camp, he could find himself competing for the final roster spot and a place on Charlotte’s bench, potentially as a third or fourth center for the Bobcats. That might not be quite the story of redemption and a comeback that he ultimately wants, but sometimes you have to take baby steps to get to be where you want. This could be that first step for O’Bryant.