Tristan Thompson wants to reunite with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
The catch — it’s not in Cleveland but instead with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I texted Kyrie, I said let’s get the gang back together. Let’s make it happen on the West Coast,” Thompson said during an appearance on ESPN.
So did Irving respond?
“Yeah, he put a heart emoji, so I know he read it,” Thompson said.
Irving requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on February 3, sending the NBA world into a tizzy with rampant speculation. While there’s no chance he returns to Cleveland, the Lakers are the favorite to land the polarizing point guard. And the interest is mutual, per ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving has not shared a list of preferred teams, but he has maintained an interest in the Lakers. LA is expected to be among the teams that’ll explore a possible trade with the Nets,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Thompson: Irving Gets Lakers Back to Promise Land
Thompson believes the Lakers have to do everything possible to get Irving, which would make them a title contender with James and Anthony Davis alongside him.
“To be honest, he’s the missing piece. This is a piece that gets the Lakers back to the promise land,” Thompson said. “Rob Pelinka, I know he’s watching this and I know he’s reading everything. This is the guy right here to get them over the top. If they can find a way to keep Pat Bev in this deal, or even Russ — figure out a way to keep one of those veteran guys to give them experience at the guard position. This is what you have to do. Empty out the truck, send all the young boys to Brooklyn. Do whatever it takes to get Kyrie Irving.”
The sticking point with any deal for Irving is not only the cost of a trade but also the fact that the eight-time All-Star is looking for an extension. While his talent can’t be questioned, his off-court predicaments have made him an unpredictable asset long-term.
Thompson Has Been Without Team This Season
As for Thompson, he’d be lucky to jump back on his teammate’s coattails. He’s been more in the news for his relationship than basketball lately but has recently started appearing on ESPN to talk NBA.
Thompson played for three teams last season, averaging 15.7 minutes, 6.0 points and 5.1 rebounds. It was a far cry from his productive time with the Cavs, where he established himself as a double-double machine.
The Cavaliers are thankfully on the outside looking in on the Irving drama, having traded him away in 2017. But they’re still in the mix for some moves at the deadline, with Portland Trail Blazers wing Josh Hart being highlighted as a target.
“The Cavaliers are among the teams expressing strong trade interest in Portland’s Josh Hart, league sources say,” NBA insider Marc Stein wrote on his Substack. “Hart has joined the likes of Denver’s Bones Hyland, New York’s Cam Reddish, various veterans in Utah and the LA Clippers’ John Wall on the Most Likely To Be Traded list at this deadline.”