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Tristan Thompson Is Reportedly Returning To The Cleveland Cavaliers

Tristan Thompson is returning to where his NBA journey started, as the former No. 4 overall pick of the Cavaliers is finalizing a contract to bring him back to Cleveland, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Thompson spent the first nine seasons of his career in Cleveland, including playing a big role on the title team from 2016. Since leaving the Cavs in 2020, Thompson made stops in Boston, Sacramento, Chicago, and Indiana before spending most of last season as an analyst for ESPN. However, the big man signed late in the year with the Los Angeles Lakers, reuniting with LeBron James, and appeared in six games, including some surprisingly key minutes against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.

At this point in his career, Thompson is not someone you rely on for consistent production and a real part of the rotation, but he’s capable of spot minutes and, for a Cavs team with a promising young frontcourt, his value will mostly be what he does behind the scenes. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley had a rough playoff series against the Knicks last year, where Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein dominated the glass to help New York roll through the Cavs in five games. Thompson can bring some firsthand knowledge of what is required come playoff time from big men, particularly in how to impact a game positively when you aren’t necessarily the focal point of the offense playing with high-scoring perimeter players. That is more of what this signing is about than Thompson providing a big lift on the floor, but for this particular Cavs team, a veteran that can instill a bit more toughness and the right mentality in their bigs would be a welcome addition.