With veteran forward/center Tristan Thompson currently in the middle of a career-best season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the latest rumors suggest that he might be headed home to the Toronto Raptors if the Cavs continue to struggle to win some games.
On Thursday, Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amico published a report on the Cavaliers’ possible plans for the rest of the 2019-20 NBA season, noting that the team has only won five of its first 20 games and don’t want to be languishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference forever. After speculating that Cleveland likely won’t prioritize summer free-agent signings until things improve substantially for the organization, Amico pointed out that the Cavs, despite their lack of current plans to acquire someone via trade, might become serious players in the trade market as the February deadline draws nearer.
Talking about possible candidates to be traded, Amico wrote that rival teams could “make serious runs” at Thompson and combo guard Jordan Clarkson, both of whom are in the final year of their respective contracts. As further pointed out, both players reportedly have suitors from the upper tier of the Eastern Conference, with the Raptors showing “high interest” in Thompson and the Philadelphia 76ers among multiple teams hoping to add Clarkson before the trade deadline.
Keeping Up With The Canadians ????????
Tristan Thompson | vs. @OrlandoMagic
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) November 28, 2019
In a separate report, Sporting News wrote that the 28-year-old Thompson has been playing solidly despite his team’s lack of recent success, as he is averaging a career-high 13.9 points, along with 10.6 rebounds per game in the 2019-20 campaign. While he could be a key contributor for the defending champion Raptors, the publication cautioned that the terms of Thompson’s expiring contract, which will be paying him $18.54 million this season, might make it hard for Toronto to come up with a satisfactory offer. This could require the Raptors to trade multiple players — and possibly draft picks as well — to the Cavaliers in exchange for their erstwhile first-string center.
“Should Thompson return to Canada, adding him to a group of big men consisting of Marc Gasol, Chris Boucher and Pascal Siakam could boost an already-thriving Raptors squad that currently holds the No. 3 seed in the East,” Sporting News wrote.
Thompson is not the only Cavaliers big man who could potentially be traded to his hometown team ahead of the February deadline. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Portland Trail Blazers have frequently been mentioned as a potential destination for Kevin Love, with Bleacher Report most recently positing that he could be an “ideal third wheel” alongside the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.