The Cleveland Cavaliers' roster is just about set, and ther are two types of end-of-the-bench players to consider. You either want a young guy with upside (even though he'll probably never actually contribute) or you want a veteran leader who could even give you some capable minutes in a pinch.
As a championship contender, the Cavs wisely opted for the latter path with a free-agent signing, which doubled as a move fans love, bringing back a favorite player from the 2016 NBA Championship squad.
Cavaliers News: Tristin Thompson Signed
Shams Charania reportd on Monday afternoon that the Cavs are finalizing a deal with center Tristan Thompson. TT obviously needs to introduction for most Cavs fans, as he spent nine years in Cleveland to start his NBA career, making four finals appearances and winning one ring as the team’s starting center.
Thompson is the No. 3 rebounder in Cavaliers franchise history, trailing only LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He's not going to pass The King or Big Z this year, as he'd need 512 to move up one spot and 798 to take the record, but he could put a bit more space between himself and fourth-ranked Brad Daugherty if he gets on the court.
Will he get on the court? Not much, at least when games are competitive.
The Cavs have Jarrett Allen starting, Evan Mobley capable of playing the five when we go small, Damian Jones showing promise as a backup and Isaiah Mobley available as a long-term prospect.
Thompson's primary role is going to be mentoring these young guys, and he figured to be a great role model. Thompson was always happy to play a quiet role in Cleveland, not needing the ball in his hands or any media attention to be happy doing his job as a defender and rebounder.
Thompson didn’t play until the playoffs last year, when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, but even then he only saw more than 6 minutes of action in two games, having more inactives (10) than games played (6) in the postseason.
He showed flashes of his old self (5 points, 4 boards in 12 garbage time minute against the Warriors, 4 points 1 board in 9:40 against the Nuggets in Game 4), but those number don't really show us much.
Consider any positive minutes we get from Thompson to be icing on the cake, while the cake itself is just having his presence on the end of the bench.
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