Tristan Thompson reportedly wants to finish out with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten so much from Tristan Thompson over his nine-year tenure with them. Thompson was Cleveland’s #4 pick back in the 2011 NBA Draft, in what was in the same class with Kyrie Irving, who was the then-#1 selection a few spots before.
Thompson has carved out a very productive career with the Wine and Gold, and though he’s generally been a key scorer/offensive threat much of the time, Thompson’s been a significant contributor from the outset. He’s always been so active on the glass on both ends of the floor, whether that’s been mostly initially, off the bench, or mostly since, as a starter.
Thompson has averaged 8.7 rebounds per game in his career, 3.4 being offensive. He’s third on the Cavaliers all-time total rebounds list and second in total offensive rebounds for the club.
Thompson’s been such an effective screener as well, and defensively, has been an impact player for most of the way, albeit he’s not what he was a bit ago on-ball. But he’s still such a heady contributor in that sense, and he’s usually in the right spots as a rotator off-ball.
And in the last two seasons, when he’s been healthy, TT has been very good, by and large, and has made strides offensively, and is much improved in the post. He’s gotten more proficient with push shots/with his touch as well.
In 2019-20, Thompson had career-bests in scoring and assists per contest with 12.0 points and 2.1 helpers per game, too. Thompson still seemed so bought-in even after the Cavs acquired Andre Drummond near the 2020 trade deadline, also, for what it’s worth, which proved Thompson is, and has always been, the consummate team-first player.
Looking at what lies ahead, though, TT is set to be an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming free agency period. Per a report from Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor before (subscription required), it was said by one of Fedor’s sources that TT being back is ’50-50,’” but there’s been reported mutual interest from both sides in him coming back.
Per Fedor, it seemed as if Thompson could potentially be back via one-year deal, at perhaps a bit over the $8-10 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception, due to the Cavs having his Bird rights. Maybe a multi-year deal could eventually come about, or perhaps a two-year deal, with a player option for the second campaign, for example.
In any case, it was recently reported, though it wasn’t a “formal” offer, per se, from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on an appearance on ESPN Cleveland/WKNR’s Really Big Show (subscription required) that Thompson rejected a Cavs offer, if you will. Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell seemingly confirmed that Windy report by stating negotiations between the two sides “could get bumpy.”
That said, Dammarell also in a recent report (subscription required after free trial) followed that up by demonstrating how Thompson does want to return, ideally. This was following him suggesting a hypothetical trade scenario involving the Cavs sending Andre Drummond and Cedi Osman to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gordon Hayward. That’s if Drummond and Hayward opt into their $28.7 million and $34.2 million player options for next season, for further context.
Anyhow, Dammarell stated that per his sources, Thompson does have interest, and “mainly the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors.” Albeit they also stated, per Dammarell, that “Thompson would like to try and finish his career with the Cavaliers” and help out young pieces.
It’s evident that Andre Drummond could potentially be a player, if he eventually opts in, which would appear likely at some point, that could be moved. In Dammarell’s case, that’d be this offseason.