The Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a deal with center Tristan Thompson, according to a Monday tweet from The Athletic Senior lead NBA Insider Shams Charania.
“C/F Tristan Thompson is finalizing a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, CEO of Klutch Sports Rich Paul told @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania wrote. “Thompson is set to return to Cleveland where he was part of 2016 NBA title, four Finals runs, now gives Cavs leadership and some frontcourt depth.”
Tristan Thompson, the former No. 4 selection by the Cavs in the 2011 NBA Draft, played in a total of 619 games and started in 429 for Cleveland during his NBA career. He won a championship with the Cavaliers during the 2015-16 season, averaging a 10.3-point and 10.1-rebound double-double in the seven-game series that saw Cleveland take down the 73-9 Golden State Warriors.
The nine-year Cavalier has played for several other NBA teams since the Celtics signed him to a two-year contract in 2020. He averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds during the 23 regular-season games he suited up for the Chicago Bulls in 2022. The Los Angeles Lakers would sign Thompson and guard Shaquille Harrison, a two-year veteran for Chicago, in April.
Tristan Thompson will join a Cleveland center rotation that features Jarrett Allen and Damian Jones. The Cavs traded for Jones in exchange for cash considerations after he split time with the Lakers and Utah Jazz during the 2022-23 season. Allen, who Cleveland acquired along with forward Taurean Prince in a 2021 trade, would play and start in 68 games for Cleveland last season.
Forwards Evan Mobley, Georges Niang and Dean Wade make up a few of Cleveland’s options at the four. Tristan Thompson played in a career-high 94% of his minutes at the power forward during the 2013-14 season, but played in 93% of his minutes during his 23 games with the Bulls and 70% as a whole at the center spot during the 2021-22 season, according to Basketball Reference.