If there is any member of the Cleveland Cavaliers who looks to be on the move before the trade deadline, it’s most certainly Kevin Love, who might just be the most disgruntled man it sports right now — not counting anyone who works for, or under, James Dolan.
But, it’s not Love though the Raptors should be targeting to fix their rebounding woes. That honour goes to Tristan Thompson, who is in the midst of a career-year, despite the Cavaliers struggles this season. They sit with the fourth-worst record in the NBA at 11-27 through 38 games.
Thompson is averaging 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game, shooting 51-percent from the field. All those numbers, except the field goal percentage, are career-highs, though Thompson is taking a career-high number of shots.
One of the best rebounders in the NBA, Thompson has made a living from snatching offensive boards and is currently fourth in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game with 4.1 per game. Again, that’s a career-high in that category.
As an undersized center, Thompson always finds a way to get in between his man and the glass to collect the rebound, using his strength and great athleticism. If there’s a greater commitment to attacking the defensive glass, Thompson might just be the man the Raptors need.
He’s in the final year of his contract and is earning $18million this season before becoming a free agent this summer. The Raptors have the necessary assets to trade Thompson as well as the motive. He could fit nicely into the bench role or even the starting unit, depending on — or who — the Raptors give up to acquire him.