2 goals for Tristan Thompson if he’s back with the Cavs next season

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson celebrates in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big men Andre Drummond (left), Tristan Thompson (center) and Larry Nance Jr. celebrate a victory over the Atlanta Hawks during a post-game interview. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Goal #1 for TT if he’s back with the Cleveland Cavaliers: Placing second on the team in offensive rebounding rate

Thompson has been such a productive rebounder in his career with the Wine and Gold. Over the course of nine seasons, Thompson has averaged 8.7 rebounds per game and is third all-time in total rebounds in Cleveland Cavaliers history.

Cavs fans know what TT brings on the glass, that’s for sure. And last season, in terms of per game totals, Thompson was second in the NBA in offensive rebounding with 4.0, trailing only Drummond, who has led the league in rebounding essentially four times and is so difficult to box out, like TT.

So for me, for next season, given that if he is back, Thompson should get a solid minutes-share, with what he brings defensively, in particular, and as a screeener, the first goal for him would be placing second on Cleveland in offensive rebounding rate.

Drummond, I would imagine, should pick up his player option, and with how he I’d believe would lead Cleveland in offensive rebounding rate, with his track record, TT being on second in that metric next season would be meaningful. Thompson did lead Cleveland in offensive rebounding rate at 12.6 percent in 2019-20, but Drummond’s overall clip, not including the Cavs, a squad he only played eight games with, was 12.9 percent.

If Thompson is #2 on the Cavs in offensive rebounding rate, which I’d firmly believe he would be, that’d show he’s again doing what he does so well, and that sort of thing would give the Cavs energy. Putbacks would be a part of it, sure, and with Thompson’s improved post game, that could come into play at times following offensive boards.

But if TT is again productive on the offensive glass, with him showing some progression as a passer last season, perhaps he could kick it out to a piece such as Kevin Love obviously or Dylan Windler.

Windler, who is reportedly going to participate in the Cavs upcoming in-market bubble workouts, as KJG’s Grant Puskar touched on, could very well knock down perimeter looks in those instances. Or maybe Kevin Porter Jr./Collin Sexton could be kickout/cutting targets as well.

So, moving on, what could be a second goal for TT if he re-signs/is brought back during this upcoming free agency period, then?