Apr 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson (13) and Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) battle for a rebound in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson is on the block – so let’s bring him home


Apr 11, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight (11) drives for a shot as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson (13) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 

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.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Toronto Raptors Tristan Thompson

  • Outside the Crease

    He plays like Amir Johnson with less motor. There are much bigger needs for his team. Shouldn’t bring in a player just because of his home town

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Outside:
      I would never advocate bringing in a player strictly because of his city of birth or citizenship. As for your other points – see my response (above) to Matteemo.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Matteemo

    Yeah, I don’t like this trade either. While I do like Thompson as a player, I don’t think he’s good enough to be the starting PF on a true contender. More of a first big off the bench and the Raps already have two guys who thrive in that exact same role (Amir and/or Patterson). Thompson and Amir bring much of the same type of play to the table, whereas Patterson provides a complementing different look with his ability to shoot from outside. I would rather see the Raps focus on bringing in an established wing defender (Thabo Sefolosha comes to mind). With the other primary need being a backup Center (you may laugh, but I could see Chris Kaman being a great fit on a two year deal).

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Matteemo:
      I wouldn’t laugh at the thought of getting Chris Kaman. He’s been a fine player for years. My biggest concern, apart from cost, is how much gas he’s got left in his tank.
      As for your thoughtful criticism of the Thompson trade: between you and “Outside the Crease” below, I’m thinking I’m going to formulate a detailed response to both of you in the form of a post. I’m hoping to have it published on Thursday. You and he will both get hat tips.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Matteemo

        Yeah, I was only thinking of Kaman as a stopgap on a short (1-2 year) deal and only if he comes at the right (read: cheap) price. I would like to see us target a guy like Patrick Young or Dwight Powell with our second round pick. And Kaman would be only signed to provide backup minutes behind JV while bringing the young guys along. Could be useful if JV were to get into early foul trouble playing against a team with traditional big bodied centers.

  • Steve

    If the Raptors want to get to the next level and contend as soon as this upcoming year, then they don’t do this trade. In my opinion, I think we should go all out and try to land Kevin Love, and yes I know it sounds crazy and probably won’t happen but what’s there to lose? If we offer Amir/Terrence Ross (or both), 2014 1st round pick, 2016 1st round pick (either ours or NY’s), I think the deal might get done. Love will probably stay for upcoming years just because the core will be amazing. If we can’t get him then perhaps we can make a run at signing Monroe by getting rid of some contracts so we’d have cap space. The problem with Tristan is that he’s not proven yet and probably won’t get us farther whether it’s now or in the future. Plus it may ruin team chemistry just a little bit, but if we do a trade involving a proven PF, then I certainly think that’ll boost our chances to contend in the weaker Eastern Conference.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Steve:
      Trade for Kevin Love? Not so crazy….check back here around 7:00AM tomorrow.
      I’ll respond to your other points a bit later.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • ac1011990

      I don’t think giving up important pieces for Love would be a good idea, mainly because there is probably a 5 percent chance hel stay if he gets traded to the raps. I read somewhere, and i don’t know if its true, but if the Bulls want to go after Carmelo they would need to amnesty Boozer and get rid of Taj Gibson’s contract. I would rather try and go after him with the 20th and Salmons.

      • Newmarket_Brian

        Hi ac:
        Have a look tomorrow morning, when I’ll attempt to justify a Love trade.
        Thanks for commenting.

      • Steve

        That’s a much less risky move I agree, but my point is if the Raptors really want to contend for a championship, then they must make a move where they land a superstar. Quite honestly I believe if Raptors land Love then he’d be on a winning team and the environment he’d be surrounded with including the fans, teammates, management, would be too great to pass up for an uncertain situation in New York or LA. Also I’m not sure if the bulls NEED to get rid of gibson’s contract although that depends on Melo’s asking price. Last option would be picking up boozer on a cheap deal after he’s amnestied, I know his defense is pretty bad but he provides that veteran leadership and he would fit nicely.

        • ac1011990

          Ya I agree with you, in order to really content we do need a superstar and if Love committed to signing an extension here before the trade then I’d be fine with it. I’m also not sure if the bulls do NEED to get rid of Gibsons contract, but it they did I’d want Ujiri to inquire about that he’s a good player.

  • AM

    If there’s room on the roster for him then why not. I do like having a legit 3pt shooter in Novak though, but if Thompson did come, then maybe he takes Hayes place on the roster.

  • Guy

    Before I give my opinion on your trade proposal, I’ll ask this… would you be suggesting the Raptors pursue a trade for Thompson if he wasn’t Canadian?

    My opinion on trading for Thompson… No thanks, especially if you include a 1st rounder. At this point, I’ll take Amir Johnson over Tristan Thompson all day long. I still think the PF position needs upgrading, but Thompson isn’t an upgrade.

    I’d sooner see the Raps make a play for Greg Monroe in Detroit. Van Gundy may be looking to strip the Pistons down, & now with no 1st round pick for Detroit, Ujiri might be able to swing a deal for Monroe. He has NBA averages of 14pts/9rbs, 6’11, 250lbs and is only 23. I would think a JV/Monroe starting front court would be quite imposing & effective going forward. Offer Chuck Hayes & our 1st rounder(20) for Monroe & Detroit’s 2nd rounder(38). Raps get a solid young PF to add to the core & Detroit gets a 1st round pick, a backup center with an expiring contract that would keep their large amount of cap space for the 15/16 season intact.

    • Steve

      Giving up that pick isn’t ideal but it definitely could get the deal done, I think SVG wants to keep smith and drummond together so the opportunity is there to grab him. Monroe really needs to improve defensively if the raps want to take major strides forward in the upcoming years.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Guy:
      Yes, I would pursue Thompson regardless of passport. Patience is called for with a player like him, particularly one who has switched shooting hands (which I’ve never heard of before).
      As an old centre, I can attest to the fact that offensive rebounding is a badly underrated and very difficult skill to master. Tristan has done it.
      You’re not the only one to express a desire to bring Monroe on board. I’m not sold on him yet, but I suppose it would depend on the price. Your trade looks reasonable. Whether Mr. Van Gundy would agree is a different matter.
      Thanks for commenting.