Since the departure of Al Horford last summer, rumors have been circulating that the Boston Celtics are searching for a defensive-minded big man who could fill the hole he left on their team. One of the NBA players who have been linked to the Boston Celtics before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline was Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though they failed to get his service in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Celtics will have the opportunity to chase Thompson again in the summer of 2020 when his contract expires and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Thompson may have decided to finish the season in Cleveland but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, there is a strong possibility he will be leaving the Cavaliers in the 2020 NBA free agency. At this point in his NBA career, Thompson would definitely love to play for an NBA team that is seriously aiming for an NBA championship title rather than mentoring young players on a rebuilding team like the Cavaliers. According to Michael Pina of SB Nation, Thompson may consider signing a “cheap one-year deal” with a contending team like the Celtics that could give him “meaningful playoff moments.”
Despite having Daniel Theis, Robert Williams, Enes Kanter, and Grant Williams on their roster, Pina believes that signing Thompson still makes a lot of sense for the Celtics as he would be giving them a defensive-minded big man who is capable of guarding the likes of Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
“The Celtics are happy with Daniel Theis, have Robert Williams waiting in the wings, who knows what Enes Kanter will do with his $5 million player option, and Grant Williams is shaping up to be an essential small-ball five. That’s not a bad big man rotation next year, but Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo aren’t going anywhere. Boston may want to stock up with as many large bodies as it can, especially if the financial commitment isn’t much of a commitment.”
If they can really convince him to sign a veteran minimum deal, adding Thompson to their roster should be a no-brainer for the Celtics this summer. Aside from boosting their performance on the defensive end of the floor, Thompson would also give the Celtics a reliable scorer under the basket and an incredible rebounder who has plenty of championship experience.
Though he’s currently considered as a traditional big man, Thompson is already showing major improvement with his floor-spacing ability in the 2019-20 NBA season. Before the NBA suspension due to the spread of the coronavirus, Thompson was averaging 12.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc.