It’s been reported that the San Antonio Spurs will consider trading for Cleveland center Tristan Thompson at the upcoming February trade deadline.
With two first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs front office may look to improve the roster by dangling assets in front of struggling teams. One organization reportedly looking for trade suitors is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were thrust into a rebuild since the departure of LeBron James during the offseason.
Though a sprained foot suffered early in the season has nagged at him, championship center Tristan Thompson has performed admirably amidst his team’s meltdown. Cleveland sits at the bottom of the East, but Thompson has stood out for his focus and commitment to the franchise that selected him fourth in the 2011 NBA Draft.
In a recent article regarding Cleveland’s plans for the looming trade deadline, NBA columnist Sam Amico wrote that the Spurs have interest in acquiring Thompson.
“Keep an eye on the San Antonio Spurs. They have two first-rounders — their own and Toronto’s. They have an interest in Cavs center Tristan Thompson, though a deal would be tough given Thompson’s salary. He is owed $17.5 million this season and $18.5 million next. The Spurs may also have an interest in Burks.”
Cleveland is stuck with a decent portion of its money committed to role players on a losing team, so it may be beneficial to unload Thompson. Through 35 games this season, the 27-year-old is averaging 11.5 points and 11.1 rebounds on 52.6 percent shooting from the field. His hustle and intensity on both sides of the floor could be beneficial down the stretch of the season, especially if Gregg Popovich is looking to slot LaMarcus Aldridge at his natural position of power forward.
More from Air Alamo
- Spurs show remarkable poise against Bulls, unlike many fans
- Devin Vassell is the latest in the Spurs’ collection of silent assassins
- San Antonio Spurs: 5 Players to avoid in any LaMarcus Aldridge deal
- Is Gregg Popovich hiding Luka Samanic as a secret weapon?
- San Antonio Spurs News: More DeRozan trade talk from Chris Haynes
Thompson has shown tremendous growth over the course of his 2018-19 campaign. Now that LeBron is gone and Kevin Love is sidelined, Thompson has been forced to step up as a veteran leader for the struggling Cavs. In doing so, he has shown off new aspects of his game with improved passing out of the post and intensified focus on glass.
Rebounding has been a bit of an issue for the Spurs this year, especially when considering the loss of point guard Dejounte Murray in the preseason. Thompson could easily slide into the lineup and help San Antonio to secure second possessions to dominate the paint. His contract isn’t ideal, but this could be an opportunity to unload Pau Gasol’s generous $16 million deal while returning a talented player on the cusp of his prime.
Adding Thompson to the lineup may not be the difference between contending or pretending for San Antonio but I can understand the vision on this deal. Amico also mentioned that San Antonio consider Alec Burks in a potential deal, slotting in another veteran shooter with experience in defensive-minded cultures.
As long as R.C. Buford doesn’t overextend himself and give up major assets to acquire Thompson, there’s no harm in rounding out the team.