Tristan Thompso was with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a long time.
As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” And that held true on Saturday, as longtime Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson reportedly signed with the Boston Celtics for two years and $19 million. For those reported details/the rumors about potential other squads with interest, you can view those at the aforementioned link.
Thompson, who was an unrestricted free agent, signing elsewhere, was understandable, and I wish him well, given all he provided for the Wine and Gold.
Plus, Andre Drummond picked up his $28.7 million player option for next season, and while he’ll likely continually be a subject in trade rumors, Drummond should seemingly be around for a chunk of next season. He’d the starting 5.
Thompson, for what it’s worth, was still bought-into a bench role even after Cleveland acquired Drummond via trade from the Detroit Pistons post-2020 deadline leading into the prior season’s novel coronavirus-induced hiatus/end of 2019-20 for Cleveland, though.
He did also reportedly want to try to finish out his career with the Cavs, but Thompson was previously “offered” a deal by Cleveland, albeit not formally, but rejected that. And for TT, getting a chance to, whether he’ll be a starter or not, play for a contender again is something I absolutely get.
Nonetheless, I am beyond grateful for what TT, who holds the franchise record for consecutive games played and is eighth all-time in minutes, brought the Cavaliers in his nine-year career with Cleveland. And I have no reason to have hard feelings.
Along those lines, here, I’ll highlight the three things I’m most grateful for regarding what TT provided for the Cavs.
The first has to do with what was so apparent game-in and game-out when Thompson was playing for the Wine and Gold.
#1: TT’s relentless offensive rebounding for the Cavs
From day one, Thompson’s relentless rebounding was on display in his time with the Cavs. Thompson has been one of the NBA’s best offensive rebounders for years, and has had a healthy 3.4 offensive boards per outing for his career, and lifetime, has had 4.4 per-36 minutes.
Additionally, in four runs to the NBA Finals in LeBron’s return tenure, TT’s work on the offensive glass was even more meaningful. Also in that realm, in the Cavaliers’ 2016 title win/comeback over the Golden State Warriors, Thompson’s offensive rebounding was especially crucial for Cleveland.
Regardless of the situations it’s been, though, and it was still the case for the past two rebuilding seasons for the Cavs, Thompson’s always been such a hard worker on the offensive glass, and that’s something I’ll always be more than grateful for.
It’s far from a secret as to why Thompson is second all-time on the Wine and Gold behind only Zydrunas Illgauskas in total offensive rebounds. His timing, grit and sheer will in coming up with contested rebounds at times seemingly against two, three and even four opponents on the offensive end is something that Cavs fans never took for granted.
And in the postseason, that was truly invaluable alongside LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and others, in particular.
Overall, Thompson’s offensive rebounding never allowed opposing bigs to just be assumptive with bringing in defensive boards, and that led to Thompson drawing loose ball fouls in the process at times just from his unwavering effort.
We’ll get into the second thing I’m most grateful regarding TT in his time with the Cavs next.