Cavaliers bring back center Tristan Thompson on a one-year deal


The Cleveland Cavaliers are signing free agent center Tristan Thompson to a one-year contract, his agent Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul announced on Monday night. The 6-foot-9 center last played for the Chicago Bulls in the 2021-22 season.

Thompson, 32, was selected fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Texas at Austin. In 730 career games, the Ontario native has averaged 9.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assist per game.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Cleveland Cavaliers hold 12th-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. A few sportsbooks are giving the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers better odds.

Tristan Thompson spent his first nine seasons (2011-20) with Cleveland. He won the 2016 NBA Finals with four-time MVP LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers. Plus, the center appeared in four straight Finals on teams led by James.

In Cleveland’s 115-112 win over the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 9, 2020, he recorded a career-high 35 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three blocks in 46 minutes as a starter.

2016 NBA champ Tristan Thompson returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a one-year contract, joins fellow centers Jarrett Allen and Damian Jones

During the 2020 offseason, Tristan Thompson signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics. Following the 2020-21 season with Boston, the Celtics traded him to the Sacramento Kings in August 2021.

However, his time with the Kings was also short-lived. In February 2022, Sacramento traded Thompson, Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield to the Indiana Pacers for Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis and a 2023 second-round draft pick.

On Feb. 17, the Pacers waived the Texas product. Thompson would then sign a rest-of-season contract with the Chicago Bulls for 2021-22 and another rest-of-season deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in April 2023.

More importantly, Thompson has plenty of postseason experience. He’s made 74 starts in 94 playoff games, averaging 7.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 26.9 minutes per game while shooting 56.2% from the floor.

Last season, the Cavaliers went 51-31 in the regular season and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. It was also their first playoff appearance this century without LeBron James.

However, the Cavaliers lost in five games to the New York Knicks during the first round.

Another offseason addition for Cleveland is ex-Miami Heat guard Max Strus, who agreed to a four-year, $63 million sign-and-trade in July. In a three-team sign-and-trade, Miami sent Strus to the Cavaliers, and the San Antonio Spurs received Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, and a second-round draft pick.

The Cavaliers also sent a second-round draft pick to Miami for compensation. Strus’ new deal begins in the 2023-24 season. As for Thompson, he’s now set to join fellow centers Jarrett Allen and Damian Jones in Cleveland.

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