Report: 2 former Cavs big men open to returning to franchise

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers could be in for a fairly eventful offseason.

After far outperforming expectations during the 2021-22 NBA season and making it clear that they are one of the best young teams in the league, the Cavs have the chance to add some quality talent this summer to further solidify their place in the upper crust of the Eastern Conference.

A big part of accomplishing that goal will reportedly have to do with re-signing talented guard Collin Sexton, according to insider Evan Dammarell. Dammarell also identified getting another big-bodied defender on the roster in case Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley have to miss time due to injury.

Interestingly, Dammarell pinpointed two big men who used to play on the Cavs.

“Thankfully, there could be some effective, cost-controlled options on the market available to Cleveland,” he reported. “Sources even say a possible reunion could be on the horizon for the Cavaliers, as former players in Tristan Thompson and Isaiah Hartenstein are open to returning to the team. Both would bring immediate depth to what Cleveland is trying to build and, in the case of Thompson, could bring another reliable veteran presence into a young locker room as well.”

Of course, Cavs fans are far more familiar with Thompson than they are with Hartenstein. Thompson was drafted by the Cavs in 2011 and played a pivotal role in the team’s 2016 NBA championship. With that in mind, he’s 31 years old, and it seems his best ball is behind him. Still, he’s a hometown favorite and would add valuable veteran presence and championship pedigree.

As for Hartenstein, he’s still quite young at 24 years old and had a solid year as a backup for the Los Angeles Clippers, averaging 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in just 17.9 minutes per game.

No matter who the Cavs end up trying to bring on to act as another defending big man, the fact that Thompson and Hartenstein would apparently be happy to rejoin the Cavs is a fantastic sign.

It’s proof of just how much things have changed in the last couple years, as the Cavs have gone from a bottom-dweller in the the NBA to one of the most exciting teams that seems to just be hitting its stride.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.