Eastern Notes: Thompson, Rondo, Hornets

The results of the starting center competition in Cleveland might have an impact on the team’s roster next season, Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal writes. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao are both entering the final year of their contracts as well as competing to tip off games at the pivot. Varejao should come a bit cheaper, but Thompson is nine years younger and has a much higher upside, notes Lloyd, and Thompson needs minutes to put up numbers worthy of a deal in the four-year, $49MM range that Derrick Favors signed with the Jazz, which will be the likely starting point in negotiations with the Cavs.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Though he doesn’t get a vote in the matter, Celtics legend Bob Cousy is among those who thinks the team should hold onto Rajon Rondo, Bill Doyle of The News Telegram writes. Cousy, who knows a bit about point guard play said, “Guys like Rondo come along only every 20 years. So I would do everything I could to keep him. Obviously you don’t want to lose a talent like that and get nothing for him. I’m a big Ainge fan. I think Danny has done an excellent job since he’s been there. He’s a hard worker, he’s a good guy, he’s smart. If he really thinks he’s [Rondo] going, then sure try to salvage something.”
  • One item that didn’t factor into LeBron James‘ decision to return to the Cavs was who the head coach was, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com writes. Discussing his new head coach David Blatt, James said, “Him being here, it wasn’t part of my process of coming back. Obviously, I was excited once I made the decision to get to know him, get to know what he’s about and it’s been good so far.” James also added that he feels like he can work with any coach regardless of how impressive or pedestrian their past might be, notes McMenamin.
  • The Hornets talent level has improved over last season but the team also hopes that the remarkable locker room chemistry last year’s squad had will carry forward to this season, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. “It’s not going to be easy,” said Jannero Pargo. “If you change one player, one aspect of a team, you change the whole dynamic. But we have a good core of guys, so it can be done.”

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