The Cleveland Cavaliers will have to make a major decision this offseason when it comes to veteran big man Tristan Thompson.
Thompson is set to become a free agent this offseason. While it previously seemed very likely that Thompson would choose to sign elsewhere, it’s starting to seem possible that he will actually remain in Cleveland.
“Over the last few months, the Cavs odds of keeping Thompson have increased — even if slightly,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wrote. “They also own his Bird rights, allowing them to pay a tick more than the mid-level while also staying out of the tax. That would seem to satisfy both sides.
“’I believe there’s a chance of him re-signing in free agency,’ a league source close to Thompson said. ‘He hasn’t necessarily played his final game there.’
“Another source said a Thompson return is ’50-50,’ that there’s mutual interest in a deal. The Cavs recognize his value, both on and off the floor. They were impressed with his attitude, especially following Drummond’s arrival that booted Thompson out of the starting lineup. They’ve heard the calls from Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and other teammates about bringing Thompson back.”
Thompson staying in Cleveland would be seen as a major positive both on and off the court. This season, Thompson averaged a career-high 12.0 points per game. He also averaged 10.1 rebounds per game.
Thompson’s other great contributions came in the form of his connections with the team’s talented youngsters. He often showed strong support for players like Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.
At present, it may still be more likely that Thompson ends up on another team next year. However, there’s no question that both the big man and the Cavs are interested in potentially extending their fruitful relationship.