The NBA's free agency period began on Friday with a flurry of deals. Now another big name is on the move. Tristan Thompson is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and heading to the city famous for Dunkin Donuts, tea parties and the Dropkick Murphys.
According to ESPN, Thompson's agent revealed that his client is joining the Boston Celtics. He is the second NBA player to make the move along with former Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague. The former fourth-overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson spent eight years with the Ohio-based franchise. He also won an NBA title at the end of the 2015-16 season.
ESPN further reports that questions surfaced about Thompson when the Cavaliers acquired Andre Drummond in a February trade. The two big men played five games together prior to the COVID-19-prompted shutdown. Drummond holds a player option for the upcoming season and will have the inside track to the starting job now that Thompson is heading to Boston.
In his nine seasons with the team, Thompson averaged a career-high 12 points per game. He also showed off some improved accuracy from beyond the three-point line, going 9-of-23. However, he struggled at times when attempting two-pointers, only making 51% of his attempts. He then averaged 1.8 turnovers per game, a career-high.
Thompson heading to Boston is one of the most significant roster changes of the offseason thus far, but it is far from the only high-profile signing. The Los Angeles Lakers also acquired Montrezl Harrell from the Los Angeles Clippers. He signed a two-year deal and partnered with LeBron James and a stacked roster to pursue a ring.
When fans of the Clippers heard the news, they responded in a variety of ways. Some proclaimed that they were unaffected by the signing and said that Harrell "struggles in the postseason." Others, however, took a different approach. They said that the NBA is "rigged" and that Adam Silver is letting James and his agent, Rich Paul, create a super team.
Fans of the Celtics simply expressed relief that the team is making moves. Star player Gordon Hayward left the team after agreeing to a four-year, $120 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, and the fans wanted Boston to reload. He struggled with injuries during his three-year tenure with the team but still averaged 13.9 points per game, as well as 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists. In 2019, he also became the first Celtics player to average at least 15 points while shooting 50% since Kevin Garnett in 2011-12.