Cavaliers Notes: Thompson, Love, Griffin

Now in the second year of a five-year, $82MM pact, Cleveland big man Tristan Thompson balked at criticisms that he hasn’t lived up to his contract. “I earned my money,” Thompson told Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “LeBron’s not my agent. I earned my money doing what I do; you can ask anyone around the league. I opened doors for other guys. It’s a business, and you get paid what the market value is for you. I got my money and opened up doors for other guys that play hard and do the little things.”

While Thompson certainly hasn’t been a hindrance to the 32-14 Cavs, his numbers aren’t what they were in 2012 and 2013. Thompson has averaged 7.5 points with 9.7 rebounds through 46 games while shooting a career-worst 49.3% from the free-throw line. For what it’s worth, Thompson still has LeBron James‘ stamp of approval. “He’s the one rim protector that we have, and we need him to continue to do that,” James said. “You know he’s going to clean glass, but when he’s active like that — trying to get shots blocked and things of that nature, it helps us a lot.”

Other goings-on in the ‘Land…

  • Kevin Love was removed from the second half of Cleveland’s 107-91 win over OKC on Sunday, and did not make the trip for tonight’s match-up with Dallas. Love, who suffered lower-back spasms in a 12-minute outing, will remain in Cleveland to undergo an MRI. “It’s nothing to play with,” James told Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “It’s a terrible feeling when your back is hurt. It just limits you more than anything. I know it’s very frustrating for him because he puts in a lot of work. He’s in the weight room all the time, and he’s doing his thing to keep his body in shape, then this is happening to him, so it’s very frustrating.”
  • Cleveland will use their “next man up” mentality without Love against the Mavericks tonight. “Guys have got to step up. This has been our mantra since we first all came together, ‘The Next Man Up,'” Thompson told Matthew Florjancic of WKYC. “We hope Kevin gets well, takes care of his body because we’re going to need him for the long haul. Whatever he has to do to get to 100 percent, that’s the most important thing because we need Kev for the long haul. Everyone wants to push it through, but if you’re hurt or you’re not well, get right because we’re going to need the big fella.”  With Love sidelined, Channing Frye appears to be the most logical candidate to receive a bump in court time.
  • The Cavaliers were among the teams featured in Bobby Marks’ NBA trade guide on The Vertical. To their detriment, Cleveland has only $750K to offer in a trade, and just one second-round pick over the next four years. GM David Griffin has displayed an aggressive nature on the trade market, Marks notes, having completed three January trades since joining the team in 2014. Marks predicts Cleveland will swoop in to sign veterans bought out after the trade deadline.
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11 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: Thompson, Love, Griffin

  1. Formerlyz

    Thompson isn’t a rim protector, can’t defend pick and roll, and can’t defend in the post. He is a great rebounder on the offensive end, which is valuable, but he isn’t as good as the bigs that got paid this year, and he still got a lot more than they did. Also, if his market was what he got paid, why didn’t anyone else offer anything close to it to him? I’m 1000% for players getting paid every time. I make that clear all the time. Definitely understand how the open market works. Just saying, Tristan Thompson is overpaid by $25-30 million, and there is no way he can seriously deny that. Otherwise, he should improve his pick and roll defense. If he can do that, the contract isn’t nearly as bad

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    • Formerlyz

      …but just to clarify, nobody should fault him for the contract. That’s on the Cavs

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    • yanksknicks

      I mean id say tristan is better than mozgov and noah so…

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      • Formerlyz

        Noah’s deal doesn’t count…that was a god awful deal. But if he is healthy, and being used right, Noah is still better than Thompson. The age and health concerns are the reason it’s a terrible contract, as well as the fact that starting him makes no sense on that team

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  2. rxbrgr

    Is LeBron the official spokesman of the Cavs? Their Sean Spicer? I swear for every “team statement” I hear from Griffin or Lue, there’s ten from James.

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  3. Michaelm1584

    How is TT a bad defender? He constantly defends pick and roll.

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    • Formerlyz

      Not well

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      • For a “traditional” big, he is serviceable against smaller players while defending. By no means is he going to lock someone like Curry or Harden or Westbrook down, but he’s also not as big as a liability there. Wasn’t it Thompson (might’ve been Love so I could be wrong, I do remember it was one of those two) that defended Curry off the switch in Game 7 of the Finals last year in one of GS’ last possesions that caused Curry to miss? If I remember correctly, it was right around (either before or after) Kyrie’s go ahead score.

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        • Formerlyz

          It was the greatest defensive play Kevin love has or ever will make lol

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  4. kayden_welling

    Just trade love

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    • DarkGhost

      Exactly what they need to do. Trade love and get 3-4 complementary players.

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