The Cleveland Cavaliers can't seem to catch a break this season. Just when it started clicking for the Cavs as they won eight straight and moved up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, they received another blow to their rotation.
Cleveland Cavaliers Center Tristan Thompson Suspended For 25 Games
Tristan Thompson, who has been a key contributor off of the bench for Cleveland all season, was just suspended for 25 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policies. Thompson reportedly tested positive for ibutamoren, which stimulates growth hormone, and Ligandrol, which increases muscle mass and reduces body fat. Both of these drugs are prohibited by the league.
Even though Thompson only plays 12 minutes per game this season, he's been an important part of Cleveland's recent success. With Evan Mobley out with an injury for the past six weeks, Thompson has been the only backup center behind Jarrett Allen. He provides much-needed size, strength, defense, and rebounding in bench units.
This suspension will rule Thompson out until the last month of the season. Thompson can still be helpful in the playoffs, but the Cavs might need to bring in a reinforcement to their frontcourt rotation to hold them over until Mobley and Thompson return.
Fortunately for the Cavs, they have two more weeks until the trade deadline, and backup centers are generally easy to find around the league.