In the course of picking up 23 rebounds on Saturday against the Wizards, Tristan Thompson further cemented his place in Cavs history.
With a rebound in the second half, Thompson moved passed the late John “Hot Rod” Williams for fourth-place all-time in Cavs history in total rebounds. The only players ahead of Thompson on the list now are Brad Daugherty (5,227 total rebounds), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (5,904 total rebounds) and LeBron James (6,190 total rebounds).
This season, Thompson is returning to his from before last season when he was dealing with injuries. Through 26 game, he has pulled down 308 rebounds — within distance of the 352 he pulled down in 52 games last season. He’s averaging a career-best 13.8 rebounds per game. If he keeps rebounding at this pace, he’ll smash his best single season total — the 773 total rebounds he pulled down in the 2012-13 season. And it’s not entirely out of the question that he passes Daugherty this season. Maybe he’s impacted by Kevin Love’s return, but he’s been just ridiculously good this year.
Beyond Daugherty, Thompson would have some work to do to pass Ilgauskas. It’s possible he could pass Ilgauskas next season and be very close to James’ mark. If he is with the Cavs beyond next season, the all-time rebounding mark could be his.
He might already have his jersey retired due to his contributions to the 2016 title. But he’s well on his way in other ways too.