Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is set to become a free agent this offseason, but that doesn’t mean his time in Cleveland has to come to an end.
There reportedly is a chance that Thompson returns to the Cavaliers, according to insider Chris Fedor.
“My initial thought when the Cavs were excluded from the Disney plan was that Tristan had played his final game with the Cavs,” Fedor said on the “Wine and Gold Talk Podcast.” “So, I reached out to people on both sides of this conversation. Both sides said, ‘Slow down on that, take it easy here, you’re jumping to conclusions.’
“When I texted somebody and said, ‘Does this mean Tristan has played his final game with the Cavs?’ I got back, ‘Not necessarily.’ And I believe there’s a chance he comes back.”
Thompson is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He averaged 12.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.9 blocks while shooting 51.2 percent from the field this season.
However, the Cavs trading for center Andre Drummond at the NBA’s trade deadline has left Thompson’s future up in the air.
Drummond has a player option on his contract for the 2020-21 season worth over $28 million.
If Drummond decides to pick up his player option, the Cavaliers will have three bigs, Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Drummond, making over $11.7 million next season.
By bringing Thompson back, the Cavs would be investing yet another large chunk of money into the frontcourt.
However, the idea of being a Cavalier for life is reportedly intriguing to Thompson.
“I think there’s also a sense that the Cavs recognize the value that Tristan Thompson brings,” Fedor added. “And Tristan being one of the greatest Cavaliers of all-time and eventually having his jersey hung and continuing to climb the ranks of the all-time Cavs is something that’s meaningful to him.”
Drummond’s decision will likely impact the Cavaliers’ pursuit of Thompson this offseason, but the fact that a reunion is still on the table is a positive sign.