Veteran center and free agent Tristan Thompson has piqued the interest of several teams in NBA Free Agency 2020, including the LA Lakers. The Cleveland Cavaliers finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in the 2019-20 season with a 19-46 record and many expect the team to commit to a rebuild. Commanding a huge contract, Thompson is unlikely to re-sign with the Cavaliers and might head to a team looking for his talents.
NBA Free Agency 2020: Is LA Lakers the likely destination for Tristan Thompson?
Joining the reigning champions is a prospect that is sure to appeal to any player. The chance to play alongside the best talent in the league and potentially win another championship is will weigh heavily on Tristan Thompson's mind. Evan Dammarell of Forbes noted the interest of the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and the Toronto Raptors in the 29-year-old center,
"Thompson does have interested suitors on the market – mainly the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors, according to league sources,” wrote Dammarell. “But, those same sources also shared that Thompson would like to try and finish his career with the Cavaliers and continue helping the team’s young core develop."
One of the biggest reasons to consider the LA Lakers as Tristan Thompson's next destination is LeBron James. The two were teammates in Cleveland and went on to record four consecutive finals appearances, winning one NBA title. Lebron is familiar with Thompson's approach to the game and could oversee a seamless integration into the LA Lakers roster.
Frank Vogel, a defensive-minded coach, would love to have a player of Thompson's caliber playing on his team. With the future of Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee uncertain, the LA Lakers' front office is reportedly searching for a high-level center to fill a potential roster spot.
Howard's recent performances in the 2020 NBA Playoffs have caught the attention of many teams while McGee is yet to decide on his player option. A few days earlier, LeBron James met with Tristan Thompson for dinner a few days ago and sparked a bevy of NBA trade rumors linking the LA Lakers with Tristan Thompson.
The other two teams mentioned by Evan Dammarell, the LA Clippers and the Toronto Raptors, are also looking for centers. Montrezl Harrell of the LA Clippers just posted his best regular season stats and won the 'Sixth Man of the Year' award in 2020 and rumors suggest he might leave to seek a starting role.
The Toronto Raptors' big men, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are both free agents and are reportedly undecided on whether to re-sign with the Canadian team.
Tristan Thompson would be a great fit on any of these three rosters. However, another factor that could play a huge role in his decision is the fact that Thompson's family resides in Los Angeles. Could that be enough to turn the needle in favor of the LA Lakers?Published 09 Nov 2020, 23:55 IST