The NBA announced on Tuesday that Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has been served a 25-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program. The 32-year-old veteran won't be eligible to return to the lineup until the Cavs face the Houston Rockets on the road on Saturday, March 16.
Although Thompson isn't Cleveland's best player, his suspension couldn't have come at a worse time. He was being counted on as the Cavaliers' top backup center behind Jarrett Allen as Evan Mobley continues to rehab from knee surgery that has sidelined him since Dec. 6.
In other words, the Cavaliers could use some frontcourt help until Mobley heals up and Thompson's suspension ends. Fortunately, three available free-agent centers could help make life easier.
1. Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin remains a free agent after most recently spending the 2022-23 campaign with the Boston Celtics. The ex-Oklahoma product became quite the fan favorite while playing a limited role for the C's, averaging 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds across 41 games while shooting 48.5% from the field and 34.8% from the three-point line.
Although those numbers are from his best, he still averaged 14.6 points and 13.3 rebounds per 100 possessions. While that doesn't guarantee that he could average those numbers across that many positions, it does indicate that he performed well in the limited role he was given.
Thompson was only playing an average of 16.2 minutes in January, which wouldn't be too much playing time for Griffin. He's no longer capable of playing 35 minutes per game, but he did play at least 15 minutes 18 times with the Celtics last season and even reached the 20-minute mark on 10 occasions.
With his abilities to rebound and occasionally stretch the floor, Griffin would be a great fit for the Cavaliers' frontcourt.