Tristan Thompson breaks silence after signing with Cavs, sends message to city of Cleveland

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers have added a familiar face to their roster. Veteran big man Tristan Thompson, who was drafted by the team back in 2011, has returned to the organization.

Following the announcement that Thompson is back with the Cavs, the 6-foot-9 big took to Instagram to send a message to the city of Cleveland.

Tristan Thompson Cavs

Tristan Thompson Cavs


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Thompson, 32, was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after a one-season stint playing college basketball at the University of Texas. He averaged 13.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in 36 games played with the Longhorns during the 2010-11 season (34 starts).

Those numbers were good enough for Thompson to win Big 12 Rookie of the Year honors.

The big man’s contributions translated to a whole lot of wins for the Longhorns, too. They finished the season with a 28-8 record and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to the University of Arizona by a final score of 70-69. Thompson had a forgettable performance in the loss, as he scored just three points and made one of his four shot attempts.

The 32-year-old has played for six teams — the Los Angeles Lakers (in the 2023 postseason only), Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Cavaliers — across his time in the NBA. He is best known for his time with the Cavaliers, as he was an invaluable part of the LeBron James-led teams that reached four consecutive NBA Finals.

During Thompson’s first stint with the Cavs, he averaged 9.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field. Of course, he had a big hand in the success of the 2015-16 squad, which made history by defeating the Warriors in the NBA Finals and bringing a title home to Cleveland.

The big man is no longer the same player he was earlier on in his career, but he still bolsters the Cavaliers’ depth in the frontcourt and could help them in spots this season.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.