Former Cleveland Cavaliers player Tristan Thompson is joining Chicago.
By the time you read this, Tristan Thompson may have already been waved by the Indiana Pacers and could be already signed to the Chicago Bulls. Thompson, who was part of the Domantis Sabonis trade will join the Bulls in their quest to win a title.
Thompson was a former member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, getting drafted fourth overall of the 2011 NBA Draft, three spots after former teammate Kyrie Irving, and six spots ahead of Klay Thompson. He never lived up to his top billing as a fourth-overall pick, but he was a solid player for the Cleveland Cavaliers but was little more than an Anderson Vareajo replacement.
In 2020, he signed with the Boston Celtics and since then has gone from Boston to Sacramento, to Indiana, and now to Chicago. It’s safe to say that Thompson is no longer the guy he once was, and that isn’t exactly a rousing statement, as Thompson was, at best, an average starter.
Yet, when word got around that he was going to the Pacers, a buyout was inevitable and many fans in Cleveland had hoped that he’d re-sign with the team that he spent nine seasons with and won an NBA title with. He didn’t, and honestly, that’s a good thing.
Tristan Thompson is not worth a roster spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers
There was a time when Thompson would be a welcomed addition to the squad. Those days are long gone. The Cavs are well and set at their bigs. In the 2021-2022 season, Tristan Thompson has averaged six points and five rebounds, while posting RAPTOR scores of -2.1 on offense and -1.4 on defense.
“But Chad,” you say. “He was on a bad Kings team!”
In 2020-2021, when he was with the Celtics, he posted an offensive RAPTOR of -2.1 and a defensive RAPTOR of -1.4, all while averaging 7.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. I would stake quite a bit on this statement; Thompson is not better than Lamar Stevens, and adding him would only hurt Stevens and the Cavs’ team defense.
Thompson isn’t a victim of being on bad teams, therefor his stats and advanced stats are bad. No, the fact he’s been bouncing around as much as he has (five teams in two years), shows that he’s not making much of an impact regardless of where he goes. Sure, the Pacers were never going to keep him, but the Celtics gave up on him because the older and slower Al Horford was a better option.
The Cavs are already struggling to fit Caris LeVert into the system, and bringing in Thompson would not help that process.
Plus, who would lose minutes? Dean Wade? Isaac Okoro? Lauri Markkanen (when he’s healthy)? They’re all better options than Thompson, and it’s unlikely the 30-year-old would be happy not getting any minutes once Markkanen returns.
Not going after/not landing Thompson is a great thing to happen for the Cavaliers.