There’s been very little in the way of trade talk since the regular season ended. The latest whisper concerns Cleveland Cavaliers Power Forward Tristan Thompson, to the effect that he will be moved over the summer. While so many of these rumours are little more than ear pollution floated by bloggers, I think this one has legs. The Cavs have just endured a bitterly disappointing season in which they finished outside the playoffs again. Their new General Manager, David Griffin, has no loyalty to his predecessor’s picks (Tristan was drafted #4 in 2011) and they don’t have a coach to worry about placating.
Tristan has made more headlines about successfully switching his primary shooting hand from left to right than he has for his play. While I don’t think Tristan will ever be an All-Star, he certainly belongs in the NBA. At 6’9″ and 235 pounds, he’s smallish for a PF, but is a gifted rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass. His shooting range is severely limited (no 3-ball attempts while averaging 31+ minutes in all 82 games – not even a desperation heave at the buzzer?), but he’s only 23, and could improve. I like the kid, and if Cleveland wants to move him, the Raptors’ front office should construct a trade.
Of course, I could do it for them. How about Steve Novak and our 2016 pick (whichever is better from our pick or the one we got from the Knicks in the Bargnani deal)? The Cavs get a proven stretch-four, which they don’t have currently (Spencer Hawes is a free agent who may not return, and he should be their centre anyway) and a decent or better first-round draft pick. We get a young PF who can rebound our numerous misses (the Raps take a lot of 3s), create his own shot in the low post, and has played every game in the last 2 seasons. I love those guys who don’t get hurt, particularly when they play under the basket. Plus he’s not crazy-expensive, and he’s Canadian! Amir Johnson reverts to his best spot, which is first big man off the bench to spell either Tristan or JV. The Trade Machine is indifferent to the trade’s impact on either team, which to my mind means it’s more likely to occur than not.
So what do you think, Rapture Nation? Let me know in the Comments.