Cleveland Cavaliers: Trading Tristan Thompson to Toronto would be beneficial

TORONTO, ON - MAY 07: Jonas Valanciunas
TORONTO, ON - MAY 07: Jonas Valanciunas /

The Cleveland Cavaliers must upgrade their roster and one way of doing that is via trade.

With limited resources and assets, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have to be creative in how they go about changing their roster. Bringing over SF Cedi Osman helps, but there is more work to be done.

Now for some, trading away power forward/center Tristan Thompson is completely out of the question. For those that feel that way, let me ask you this: Outside of rebounding, what else does he offer?

That skill is what he is known for and is a decent player overall, but for the contract he is signed too, there has to be better options out there right? In fact, there is.

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When Thompson was in the draft, I was hoping Cleveland would end up drafting center Jonas Valanciunas fourth overall. Instead, Thompson was selected there and Valanciunas was selected fifth by the Toronto Raptors. To this day, the veteran center is still an option worth considering.

With how Toronto has built their roster, they could be inclined to move him sooner rather than later. This trade scenario would not have been possible had the Raptors dealt Valanciunas prior to the 2017 draft, something they were seriously looking to do according to Rodgers SportsNet‘s Michael Grange.

Cleveland needs to improve their bench and upgrade themselves overall in any other way possible; Not only to defeat the Golden State Warriors, but to have the best overall group of players possible.

By trading away Thompson to Toronto for Valanciunas, Cleveland gets a player with a better all-around game and they also save some money.

Thompson has been and will continue to be a better regular season player than postseason player. It remains to be seen if Valanciunas could be better, but I am all in for a change. Thompson’ time to leave the Cavaliers has been here for some time.

According to, Thompson averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in 29.9 minutes/game in 2016-17. In addition, Thompson will be earning $16.4 million in 2017-18, just short of $17.5 million in 2018-19, and just over $18.5 million in 2019-20.

On the other hand per the same website, the Lithuanian center averaged 12 points and 9.5 rebounds in 25.8 minutes/game in 2016-17. His salaries for the next three seasons are $15,460,675, $16,539,326, and $17,617,977.

The Cavaliers would get a true center with better overall stats for less! What’s not to like? Yes, it is not much money Cleveland would save, but every dollar adds up, especially when it is being spent on players with limited skill sets.

As great as it would be to see an upgrade in the starting lineup, this trade proposal is only a dream. If Thompson was not friends with forward LeBron James, perhaps Cleveland would have moved on from him by now.

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As long as James is in Cleveland, Thompson will be on their roster. There is a difference between adding players with upside an/or potential and that of acquiring/keeping specific players with ties to James. Until Cleveland realizes that, not many, if any, upgrades are likely going to occur in NE Ohio any time soon.