Cavs: Tristan Thompson hasn’t done enough to have his jersey retired

Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Tristan Thompson (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Tristan Thompson has left the Cavs to join the Boston Celtics and despite a long-run with Cleveland, there is no reason to retire his jersey number.

With Tristan Thompson leaving for Boston, the city of Cleveland and the Cavs organization are both sending him off with class and gratitude. Thompson, the 4th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, was seen as a star in the making after being drafted alongside Kyrie Irving in a draft that many hoped would see the Cavs start building a winner in a LeBron James-less world.

Then LeBron James came back after the team failed to have a winning season with its new “stars”.

Now that Thompson is off to Boston, everyone is talking about what he has done for the Cavs, citing his nine-years with the club and his contributions to the 2016-2017 NBA Championship win. Yet, if we’re being honest, Thompson’s career in Cleveland was largely a disappointment. He started in only 69% of games he played in, where he averaged 9.4 points per game, alongside 8.7 rebounds per game.

Thompson was drafted as high as he was due in part to his defensive skillset. Yet, he never became the defensive star the Cavs had hoped he’d develop into. He was undersized as a center and had no mid-to-long-range shot as a power forward. Made even worse than his iffy talents is the fact that future Hall of Famers Klay Thompson and Khawi Leonard went after him. Not to mention the Cavs also passed on Kemba Walker, Nikola Vučević, and Jimmy Butler as well.

Thompson, as a fourth overall pick, was a bust. He was a good roleplayer off the bench, but you don’t waste lottery picks on bench players.

Yes, there’s going to be a fandom and nostalgia aspect with Thompson and a lot of that title-winning Cavs, but when you look at the cold hard facts, Thompson just wasn’t that good.

Now, remember who the Cavs have already retired the jersey numbers for. They’re not all Hall of Famers, but all but one were at least All-Stars. That one who wasn’t an All-Star, Bingo Smith, was a much better player than Thompson.

The others, Austin Carr, Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Nate Thurmond, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas all did much more than Thompson ever did. The only claim that Thompson has is that he was part of the NBA title team. Part of, not even a major contributor for.

Thompson hasn’t done more than say a Matthew Dellavedova to warrant his jersey being retired. Should Dellavedova get his number retired? One could argue that the man fans call “Delly” warrants it more for his performance in the NBA Finals, as he had to guard Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the two best players the Warriors had in that 2016-2017 NBA Finals.

Yet, Delly doesn’t warrant his jersey being retired either.

On that team, you have maybe three names in LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving. No one else from that team really warrants consideration, no matter how much you may like someone.

Sorry Thompson fans, but Thompson was an average, NBA roleplayer. That’s not a “jersey retirement” career.

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