It seemed as if the 2023 iteration of the Cavaliers weren’t going to have a member from the 2016 championship on the roster to start the season for the first time since the title came home. Who would have thought in the dog days of summer the Cavaliers would have a sentimental signing?
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Tristan Thompson is signing with the Cavs, the team he spent the first nine years of his career with and won a title with in 2016.
C/F Tristan Thompson is finalizing a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, CEO of Klutch Sports Rich Paul told @TheAthletic @Stadium. Thompson is set to return to Cleveland where he was part of 2016 NBA title, four Finals runs, now gives Cavs leadership and some frontcourt depth. pic.twitter.com/ayKEu3JOj1— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 11, 2023
Thompson since his last game in the wine and gold has become a journeyman big. Having spent his time away from Cleveland with the Celtics, Kings, Pacers, Bulls and Lakers. His last stint was in Los Angeles to join LeBron James and the Lakers for a postseason push. For the 2022-2023 regular season, however, Thompson did not suit up for a club and was often appearing on ESPN as an analyst.
The major question for the signing of Tristan Thompson is what the Cavaliers can expect from him?
The answer to that is probably a little underwhelming to those hoping for the Thompson of old. Thompson, at age 32, is more likely to provide the Cavaliers with the veteran presence and title experience this younger squad needs in the locker room. A similar role to in terms of actual playing time would be Robin Lopez and his role on the team last year.
Thompson can help with the development of fellow bigs Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Thompson has been in the trenches and a lynchpin of title contending squads who seems to be a favorite of his teammates wherever he winds up.
Tristan Thompson does have his name in contention for various franchise records he could look to see his name rise on if he does play any meaningful minutes. He currently ranks ranks third in franchise history in total rebounds, seventh in games played, and sixth in blocks for the Wine and Gold.