Thompson’s run in Cleveland is at an end.
As reported by The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, Thompson is signing with the Boston Celtics on a two-year deal worth $19 million. Per Vardon, Thompson’s offer from the Cavs was less than whaat Boston offered.
Thompson was the No. 4 pick of the 2011 draft, going to the Cavs three picks after they took Kyrie Irving No. 1 overall. I’m told the Cavs’ offer to Tristan this year was for less than what the Celtics will pay. https://t.co/SG4UOyEcPT— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) November 22, 2020
Thompson’s career with the Cavs is an all-timer. Originally picked No. 4 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson became an integral part of the 2016 title-winning Cavs and one of the franchise’s defining players over that span. The Cavs do not win a title without him in 2016.
His name is also littered all across the Cavs’ all-time record book. He’s seventh all-time in games played, eighth in minutes played, second in offensive rebounds, fourth in defensive rebounds and third in total rebounds. During his Cleveland career, he also played in an 447 straight games. Whenever he retires, Thompson will go down as an all-time Cavs.
On the court, this split could have been seen coming once Andre Drummond was acquired at last year’s trade deadline. Even if the Cavs were planning on dabbling in three-big lineups, having Thompson around with Drummond, Larry Nance Jr. and maybe Jordan Bell also on the roster was just a lot. He’s a leader in the locker room, but was that worth beating or matching Boston’s offer of the full mid-level exception? Probably not.
That said, Thompson in a green Celtics jersey is going to look weird. Like, Zydrunas Ilgauskas in a Heat jersey weird.