The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson could be nearing a potential split following a blockbuster trade deadline deal which brought Andre Drummond to town.
Sources say Thompson and his agent are working on a buyout currently. If this does play out, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are two teams that are interested in signing the veteran big man.
Thompson had been a popular name in trade discussions ahead of the trade deadline. The Celtics were among the teams interested in the former NBA champion, but they were unable to pull off a trade before the 3 p.m. ET deadline.
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Tristan Thompson’s Potential Fit With Celtics & Heat
The 28-year-old Thompson has spent his entire career in Cleveland since he was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Although Thompson has never appeared on an All-Star team or been named as an All-NBA selection, he has been a starting big man since his rookie season.
More importantly, he remains a valuable piece on the boards, as he’s averaging 10.4 rebounds per game this season along with 8.2 points.
The Celtics desperately need a big man who can rebound. With the exception of Enes Kanter, none of the Celtics’ bigs have shown the ability to consistently rebound.
While the Heat actually excel at defensive rebounding — they’re third in the league in total rebounds and defensive rebound percentage — they’re putrid on the offensive glass. They’re 26th in the league in offensive rebounding percentage. That is a specialty of Thompson’s as he currently ranks second in the NBA in offensive rebounds. He has ranked in the top 10 in offensive rebounding in six other seasons.
With the Heat and Celtics vying for positioning in the Eastern Conference standings, it appears they could be in an arm’s race for Thompson if he is bought out.
New-Look Cavaliers After Andre Drummond Trade
The move to add Drummond by the Cavaliers came as somewhat of a surprise and suggests the team is interested in focusing on a push to return to the playoffs, as opposed to a rebuild. While the Cavaliers boast just a 13-39 record at the trade deadline, it’s likely their pursuit of a playoff berth will have to wait until next season, but the addition of Drummond should help.
Thompson’s playing time would obviously take a huge hit, and a player like Larry Nance could hold down the fort at center or power forward should the Cavs opt to buy Thompson out.
C- Andre Drummond, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic, Marques Bolden
PF- Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Dean Wade
SF- Cedi Osman, Kevin Porter Jr., Dylan Windler
SG- Collin Sexton, Dante Exum, Matt Mooney
PG- Darius Garland, Matthew Dellavedova
The new-look Cavs are interesting and have a decent amount of young talent. Most importantly, if Drummond and Kevin Love are able to thrive playing next to each other, it could create one of the more talented front courts in the entire NBA.