While everyone awaits the opening of the NBA’s contract extension window with regard to Cleveland and Kyrie Irving, the All-Star point guard’s teammate—and “buddy ball” partner—Tristan Thompson may very well find himself on the opposite end of that discussion.
Since we don’t know who the GM is yet, it’s tough to make an accurate call. To be quite honest, from everything I’m hearing, Tristan will get traded before he gets an extension with the Cavs.
Thompson, who was selected three picks after Irving in 2011, has played all 82 games in each of the last two seasons. While he experienced solid growth between his rookie and sophomore season, Thompson averaged a near-identical 11.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per contest in 2013-14. Switching his shooting hand, Thompson did see an 85-point increase in his free throw shooting, but he took a hit from the field where he shot just 47.7 percent. By all accounts, Thompson is a great teammate and a high-quality individual, but the 6-foot-9-inch power forward blocked just 0.4 shots per game and continues to hover around 108 in defensive rating.
Given how much frontcourt bodies make in today’s NBA, it can be reasonably expected that Thompson’s camp (he’s represented by LeBron James’ friend and agent Rich Paul) will be commanding a number that the team may not be willing to match. Given that the Cavaliers invested the first-overall pick a year ago in power forward Anthony Bennett, there is undoubtedly a safety net from a roster standpoint.
When the new CBA was inked, it was only a matter of time before the Cavaleirs’ lottery talent was going to be due for extensions. Hopes were, obviously, that the Cavs would be in a much better place when these decisions would have to be made. If anything, this all just adds another fold into what is looking to be a crazy summer for the Wine and Gold.