Cavaliers Notes: Thompson, LeBron, Leonard, Oladipo

Most of Tristan Thompson‘s recent headlines have been for his off-court behavior, but that isn’t why he has fallen out of the Cavaliers’ playoff rotation, writes Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report. Thompson, who played just two minutes at the end of the Game 1 loss to Indiana, is coming off his worst statistical season since he was a rookie and may still be hampered by a torn calf muscle he suffered in November.

According to Swartz, Thompson’s playing time has declined because of his inability to handle the two priorities of a modern center: protecting the rim and shooting from long distance. He averaged just 0.3 blocks per game this season and hasn’t made a 3-pointer in his seven-year NBA career.

Kevin Love has taken over as the starting center, with Jeff Green at power forward. The back-up minutes in Game 1 went to Larry Nance Jr., who was acquired from the Lakers in a February trade. Thompson is a huge expense to keep on the roster if he doesn’t play, with two seasons and more than $36MM left on his contract.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • LeBron James believes the Cavaliers’ roster uncertainty throughout the season may have impacted them in the playoff opener, relays Dave McMenamin on ESPN Now. “I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs,” James said. “It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight.”
  • If the Spurs decide to trade Kawhi Leonard, that could affect James’ strategy in free agency, suggests Brian Windhorst of ESPN. In a video posted on Twitter, Windhorst says if the Cavaliers fail to reach the NBA Finals, James and Leonard will have about six weeks to discuss their future and plot a way to end up on the same team. Windhorst names the Sixers and Lakers as teams with the assets to acquire both.
  • With Victor Oladipo shredding the Cavs for 32 points in Game 1, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wanted Oladipo instead of Anthony Bennett with the top pick in the 2013 draft, but decided to listen to the front office. Bennett, who is now out of the NBA, played just one season for the Cavaliers before being traded to Minnesota.
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10 thoughts on “Cavaliers Notes: Thompson, LeBron, Leonard, Oladipo

  1. Aha !!!

    Here’s your secondary guy to go to the Lakers with LeBron. Forget Paul George it’s Kawhi Leonard !!

  2. Dionis

    Lebron is going to make Kawhi a superdiva just like him. Why don’t you man up and overcome instead of trying to join other superstars Lebron?

    • LeBron man up? Are you kidding me? Kawhi needs to grow up first. In fact, I bet Kawhi is basically done like DRose.

      This idea that LeBron has to be with other superstars is nuts. Tell me one superstar on the Cavaliers team and it better not be Tristan Kardashian.

  3. hiflew

    AMAZING! Not once in the previous 4 years before his breakout season did Dan Gilbert even mention Oladipo’s name. But now, he was gonna take him the whole time.

    • x%sure

      It’s been said before– the FO weighed in for Olidipo except for the GM. But the GM had just drafted Dion Waiters the previous year (not popular either), and of course Irving before that.

  4. Z-A

    No one in any front office outside of the Cavs was thinking Bennet #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….15.

  5. suburbanwarren

    One superstar can’t win an NBA championship not even Michael Jordan was able to win without Scottie Pippen‘s and others. Stop kidding yourself LeBron James needs some super star help. Not fragile superstar help like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Cleveland could have won NBA title in 2015. Kyrie Irvin got hurt in 2015 along with Kevin Love. Even if Kyrie Irvin had stayed with CAVs he is out in Boston and Kevin Love can not complete a season injury free. Cleveland may not make it out of the East! That is my take !

  6. suburbanwarren

    Toronto to lose if not the CAVs. I don’t think Lebron is leaving the CAVs and I expect 1 or 2 super stars to join the CAVs 2018-19!

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