Tristan Thompson

Central Notes: Wade, Cavs, Thompson, McDermott, Stewart

After missing the Cavaliers‘ past three games for personal reasons, forward Dean Wade rejoined the club and participated in Friday’s practice, according to Chris Fedor of (subscription required).

With forward Evan Mobley unavailable due to a left ankle sprain, Wade had been inserted into the starting lineup prior to his stint away from the team. Georges Niang was elevated to the starting five during Wade’s absence, and it’s unclear whether Wade will reclaim that spot once he’s ready to return, Fedor writes. The Cavaliers can put off that decision for at least one more game, since Wade will be out on Saturday in Houston due to knee soreness (Twitter link via Fedor).

As for Mobley, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the big man is doing some “light work” and making progress in his recovery. A source tells Fedor that Mobley did some shooting work on Friday, but didn’t participate in practice and is unlikely to play on the Cavaliers’ current road trip, which runs through Monday.

There’s also still no specific timeline for the return of Max Strus from a left knee strain, Fedor adds. The Cavs’ starting small forward will miss his seventh straight game on Saturday.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • In a separate subscriber-only story for, Fedor notes that Tristan Thompson‘s 25-game suspension has come to an end, meaning he can once again be active for the Cavaliers as of Saturday. Thompson, who expressed excitement about returning, joked that he was so anxious to play that he “thought about sneaking into the arena a couple times” during his suspension. Bickerstaff, meanwhile, lauded Thompson’s impact in the locker room and referred to the veteran center as “this group’s big brother.”
  • Pacers forward Doug McDermott is “getting close” from returning from the right calf strain that has kept him on the shelf for the past eight games, head coach Rick Carlisle said on Friday, per Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. McDermott has been ruled out for Saturday’s contest against Brooklyn, but practiced on Friday. Indiana should benefit from re-adding him to a second unit that recently lost Bennedict Mathurin for the season.
  • In an interesting conversation with James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart discussed what it was like coming to terms with the knowledge that he won’t become a superstar at the NBA level after starring at every level prior to being drafted. “You definitely have to swallow some ego,” Stewart said. “… Once you get to a certain point … I guess, you see it for what it is. I’m just shooting you straight — there aren’t often plays called for me. For me, it’s, ‘How can I still impact the game?’ To me, I’d rather have the impact that I have, on defense. I feel like I can control the game that way.”

Cavaliers Notes: Mobley, Garland, Allen, Thompson, Porter

Injured Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley is making steady progress in his return from left knee surgery and participated in a contact practice on Thursday, according to Chris Fedor of, who says Mobley could return as soon as next week after being sidelined since December 6.

If everything continues to progress, it will be soon,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told Fedor. “He’s progressed positively. It’s what you want to see. He hasn’t had any setbacks to slow his progression. He continues to ramp up in the right direction. It’s what we expected. He looks good. He continues to build. It remains a matter of how everything responds.”

However, even if Mobley does come back next week, he’ll be on a minutes restriction to start out, Fedor notes.

It will probably be a low-20-minute-a-night workload to start with,” Bickerstaff said. “We’ve got to ramp him back up. When you go down with a knee injury, not a lot of conditioning that you can do and those types of things. You can’t simulate the NBA. We will work on that. We will let him get his conditioning back. The minutes will increase as that gets better.”

Mobley may be back soon, but point guard Darius Garland will likely be out a while longer, Fedor adds. Garland is working his way back into shape after sustaining a broken jaw on December 14 vs. Boston.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Center Jarrett Allen set a team record with his 12th consecutive double-double in Monday’s win over Orlando, Fedor writes for (subscription required). Allen later extended the streak to 13 games in Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee. Allen has stepped up in a major way since Mobley and Garland went down with injuries, averaging 18.4 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.4 BPG while shooting 64.0% from the field and 83.9 from the line during the streak. “He’s a hell of a person,” star guard Donovan Mitchell said of Allen, a former All-Star. “To see the work that he puts in on a daily basis, it’s great to see those efforts starting to come to fruition. To be able to do it after losing someone who is an All-Defensive player like Ev, be able to hold the fort down, set that tone for us, it’s incredible. I’m happy for him. He acknowledged it but he’s not satisfied. The biggest thing was the win. These don’t mean anything if we lose. I think that’s one of the things that’s so special about him. He means everything to us. He is the catalyst.”
  • Backup center Tristan Thompson gave an emotional apology to his teammates before the news of his 25-game suspension was announced, Fedor adds in another subscriber-only story. A veteran leader with a prominent voice in the locker room, Thompson was suspended for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Thompson’s teammates said they gained more respect for him for taking responsibility for his actions. “Tristan is huge for our team,” Max Strus said. “The things he does as leader off the court and what he does for us on the bench, the inspiration he gives us when he plays and how hard he plays, we’re going to miss that. We’re just gonna ask somebody else to step up. We have to band around our brother. We’re always going to be here for him.”
  • According to rookie guard Craig Porter, who is on a two-way deal with Cleveland, the only reason he’s in the NBA is because he was able to attend the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, he told Alex Kennedy on the Running Up The Score podcast (Twitter video link). That’s how he drew the attention of NBA scouts, with Porter saying he’d be playing overseas right now if he hadn’t had the opportunity. Porter has been viewed as a strong candidate to be promoted to a standard deal later in the season, as two-way players aren’t playoff-eligible.

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Suspended For 25 Games

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has been suspended for 25 games by the NBA, the league announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

According to the NBA, Thompson violated the terms of the league’s anti-drug program by testing positive for ibutamoren and SARM LGD-4033. Both drugs are on the list of prohibited substances in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, under the “steroids and performance enhancing drugs” section.

Under the current CBA, a 25-game ban is the standard for a player who tests positive for a SPED and hasn’t been suspended for a past violation.

Thompson, 32, spent the first nine years of his NBA career in Cleveland from 2011-20, winning a championship with the franchise in 2016. After bouncing around the league in recent years, he rejoined the Cavaliers as a free agent this past September, signing a one-year, minimum-salary contract.

Thompson has played regular minutes as Cleveland’s backup center behind Jarrett Allen this season, averaging 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game across 36 appearances.

With Thompson unavailable and Evan Mobley still sidelined due to a knee injury, the Cavs may turn to center Damian Jones for rotation minutes. Jones has seen some action in recent weeks, albeit almost exclusively in garbage time. Two-way player Isaiah Mobley – Evan’s brother – is another frontcourt option, but he has only appeared in three NBA games this season.

The suspension will cost Thompson more than $726K of his $3,196,448 salary — he’ll forfeit 1/110th of his salary per game. Cleveland will be able to move him to the suspended list after five games, opening up another spot on the 15-man roster until he’s eligible to be reinstated.

Central Notes: Thompson, Theis, Pistons, Giannis

Tristan Thompson‘s new contract with the Cavaliers is a one-year, minimum-salary deal that is guaranteed for just $200K, Hoops Rumors has learned. Thompson will earn his full $3.2MM salary if he remains under contract through at least January 7, though Cleveland’s cap hit for the season would be just $2.02MM, with the NBA covering the difference.

Here’s more

Cavaliers Sign Tristan Thompson

SEPTEMBER 12: The Cavaliers have officially signed Thompson, per’s transaction log. His deal includes a partial guarantee, tweets John Hollinger of The Athletic.

SEPTEMBER 11: The Cavaliers are finalizing a contract with free agent big man Tristan Thompson, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

It will be a reunion between the two sides, as Thompson spent his first nine NBA seasons in Cleveland after the team selected him fourth overall in the 2011 draft. The 32-year-old was a key member of the Cavs’ championship run in 2016, starting all 21 playoff games and averaging 6.7 points and 9.0 rebounds while playing solid defense.

It would be shocking if Thompson received anything but a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, considering he barely played at all in 2022/23. He signed with the Lakers on the final day of the regular season, appearing in six of the team’s 16 playoff games for 32 total minutes.

Chris Fedor of confirms Charania’s report (via Twitter), noting that the Cavs currently only have 13 players on standard contracts. Teams are required to carry at least 14 players for the majority of the season, so it seems Thompson will hold that spot for now.

Thompson averaged 9.4 points and 8.7 boards over his 619 regular season games with Cleveland. He signed a two-year deal Boston as a free agent in 2020, but only lasted one year, having been traded in August 2021. He played for three different teams — Sacramento, Indiana and Chicago — in ’21/22.

We’ll have to wait and see if Thompson receives any guaranteed money from the Cavaliers. His level of play has certainly dropped off in recent years, but he had some good moments during his brief stint with the Lakers, and he’ll provide frontcourt depth and veteran leadership for Cleveland.

Once Thompson’s deal is complete, the Cavs will have 17 players under contract, with all three two-way slots filled.

Pacific Notes: Goodwin, Reaves, D-Lo, Vincent, Lakers, K. Martin

Two new but established Suns leaders, star guard Bradley Beal and head coach Frank Vogel, are looking forward to seeing the impact that another former Wizard, Jordan Goodwin, will have on the team, writes Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic.

The 6’3″ combo guard was part of the package Phoenix acquired in its blockbuster trade for Beal. Goodwin, still just 24, carved out a significant role off the bench in Washington in 2022/23. In 62 contests last season, he averaged 6.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 APG and 0.9 SPG.

“I think Jordan is going to surprise a lot of people,” Beal said. “A lot may not know who he is, but he is nasty tenacious defender who loves the game, who will compete at both ends of the floor.”

“He’s a very compelling talent,” Vogel said. “As we fill out the rest of our roster, we want to make sure we’re one of the most physical, toughest teams in the NBA. And Jordan at the guard position represents that, so I’m excited to watch him work.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are looking to maximize the skill set of returning guard Austin Reaves, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who hears that the team will explore the 6’5″ swingman’s play-making abilities by running the offense through him more often next season. After being moved into a full-time starting role for the Lakers during the season, the 25-year-old averaged 18.3 PPG on .571/.486/.898 shooting splits, 6.1 APG, and 3.3 RPG.
  • Although D’Angelo Russell is the early favorite to be the Lakers‘ starting point guard next season, Buha hears from sources that new addition Gabe Vincent could win the role if he outperforms Russell during L.A.’s training camp.
  • The Lakers are looking to add a center to fill its 14th roster spot, Buha adds. Sources tell Buha that Mohamed Bamba and Tristan Thompson are both candidates for the gig, but that the club could also wait out the market and see if more intriguing possibilities emerge.
  • Newly acquired Clippers small forward Kenyon Martin Jr. could help infuse an older L.A. roster with a healthy dose of athleticism, Law Murray of The Athletic writes. Martin, a Southern California native, brings an explosive vertical burst to the table, though he won’t score much outside of the post. His main contributions will be in and around that terrain on offense, while defensively he has some tools but still needs to develop.

Lakers Notes: James, Pelinka, Reaves, Russell, Thompson, Hachimura

LeBron James hinted at retirement following the Lakers’ elimination from the postseason on Monday night. General manager Rob Pelinka said on Tuesday that James has earned the right to do whatever he wants with the career, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“LeBron has given as much to the game of basketball as anyone who has ever played,” Pelinka said. “When you do that, you earn a right to decide whether you’re going to give more. … Obviously, our hope would be that his career continues, but we want to give him the time to have that inflection point and support him along the way.”

Pelinka said that he and coach Darvin Ham would talk things over with James in the coming days, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.

The Lakers have only five players under contract next season, with just three on guaranteed contracts, and Pelinka gave a strong hint he’d like to retain many of the team’s free agents.

“We ultimately got knocked out by a team that has great continuity,” Pelinka said. “They’ve got a group of players that have been together for several seasons, and it shows in the way they play. We feel like we’ve got special players in the locker room that enjoy playing with each other. We know there’s more growth and improvement in that group, especially if we get a training camp together.”

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Austin Reaves, headed to restricted free agency, said he’d like to stick around, Lakers reporter Mike Trudell tweets. “I want to be here. It feels like home to me, in a sense … the way the fans support me. Players, coaching staff, front office,” he said. “This is definitely somewhere I want to be, but we’ll see what happens.”
  • The Western Conference Finals didn’t go well for unrestricted free agent, D’Angelo Russell. He struggled with his shooting and got removed from the starting five in Game 4. However, he labels his second stint with the Lakers a “complete success,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets. “I really can’t complain about anything except the ball going in when I wanted it to,” Russell said.
  • Tristan Thompson, who played 10 minutes in Game 4, would also like to return as he heads to free agency, Trudell tweets. “I’m all about winning. I’m two feet in for whatever the team needs. I love it here,” he said.
  • Rui Hachimura, who will be a restricted free agent, says his experience with the Lakers since being traded from Washington was “one of the best moments,” the team tweets. “I learned a lot of things from LeBron, AD, the coaches,” he said. “It was great for my career.”

Lakers Notes: Russell, Thompson, James, Brooks

Lakers starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, reacquired by Los Angeles at the trade deadline, has had an underwhelming first postseason with L.A. to this point, but the team is hopeful he can turn that around posthaste, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

Broderick notes that Russell is connecting on an abysmal 32.1% of his field goals and 28.6% of his triples so far, while averaging 12.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, 5.5 RPG, and 0.5 SPG.

“It’s a make-or-miss league,” head coach Darvin Ham noted. “Sometimes you’re on. Sometimes you’re not. We’re just hopeful he’ll be on Saturday.”

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Reserve big man Tristan Thompson appreciates that he was added on the last day of the regular season to essentially be another locker room voice and positive influence on his new teammates, as he told Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “If I help them become one percent better, it helps our team be better,” Thompson noted. “And that’s part of my role being here, is how can I help this team get one percent better?”
  • All-Star forward LeBron James has been dismissive of Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks‘ recent postgame smack-talking, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I’m not here for the bulls—,” James said following a team practice yesterday. “I’m ready to play and that’s it.” Following Memphis’ 103-93 Wednesday victory over L.A. to even their series at 1-1, Brooks held little back in his comments to gathered media, calling James “old” while opining that the 38-year-old was no longer his peak self.
  • In case you missed it, Grizzlies All-Star point guard Ja Morant was sidelined for the second game of Memphis’ series against L.A., and remains questionable ahead of Game 3 tonight.

Contract Details: Samanic, Carey, Lakers, Cauley-Stein, More

The Jazz used a portion of their mid-level exception to give Luka Samanic a rest-of-season salary of $432,795 on his new two-year deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. A minimum salary for 2022/23 for the final three days of the season would have paid Samanic just $32,795, so Utah took advantage of its flexibility with the MLE to give him significantly more than that.

In return, the Jazz will have Samanic under contract for a non-guaranteed minimum salary in 2023/24. His $2.07MM cap hit would become partially guaranteed for $400K if he isn’t waived on or before July 18. That partial guarantee would increase to $600K after October 23.

Vernon Carey Jr., the other player who signed with the Jazz during the season’s final weekend, also got a portion of the team’s mid-level exception, receiving $100K for the end of the 2022/23 season. Like Samanic, Carey has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2023/24 on his new deal. He doesn’t have any offseason guarantee dates, but would be assured of receiving his full ’23/24 salary (approximately $2MM) if he remains under contract through October 23.

We have a few more details on recently signed contracts:

  • Both Tristan Thompson and Shaquille Harrison signed minimum-salary contracts with the Lakers, but Thompson’s deal only covers the rest of this season, while Harrison’s includes a non-guaranteed salary for 2023/24.
  • The contract that Willie Cauley-Stein signed with the Rockets on the final day of the regular season was just a one-year deal, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent again this summer.
  • Kobi Simmons received a two-year, minimum-salary deal with a non-guaranteed 2023/24 salary when he was promoted to the Hornets‘ standard roster from his two-way contract.
  • The two-way contracts recently signed by RaiQuan Gray (Nets), Dereon Seabron (Pelicans), Jacob Gilyard (Grizzlies), and Xavier Sneed (Hornets) all include a second year.

Lakers Sign Tristan Thompson, Shaquille Harrison

12:45pm: The Lakers have officially signed Thompson and Harrison while waiving Reed, the team confirmed in a press release.

10:43am: The Lakers are making a pair of roster additions to fortify their depth ahead of the postseason, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who reports (via Twitter) that center Tristan Thompson and guard Shaquille Harrison are joining the team.

Los Angeles had an open spot on its 15-man standard roster, so only one cut will be necessary to make room for the two incoming veterans. Davon Reed will be the odd man out and will be placed on waivers today, per McMenamin.

Thompson, 32, has been out of the NBA for the entire 2022/23 season but worked out for the Lakers last month and played alongside Lakers star LeBron James for several years in Cleveland.

The big man averaged 6.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 57 games (15.7 MPG) for the Kings, Pacers, and Bulls last season and has career averages of 9.0 PPG and 8.4 RPG in 730 games. Thompson also has no shortage of postseason experience, having appeared in 88 career playoff contests for the Cavaliers, Celtics, and Bulls.

Harrison has made 180 regular season appearances for six NBA teams since making his debut in 2018. Like Thompson, the 29-year-old guard hasn’t been in the league for most of this season, though he did play five games while on a 10-day contract with the Trail Blazers. That deal expired overnight on Saturday, freeing him up to join a new team.

Harrison was actually in training camp with the Lakers last fall, but was cut at the end of the preseason and ended up playing for the South Bay Lakers, L.A.’s G League affiliate. Known as a stout perimeter defender, he finished third in NBAGL Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Reed, who will turn 28 in June, joined the Lakers along with Mohamed Bamba as part of the four-team February trade that sent Thomas Bryant to Denver. He never cracked L.A.’s regular rotation though, logging just 27 total minutes across eight games with his new team. His minimum salary for 2023/24 is fully non-guaranteed, so the Lakers won’t be on the hook for any money for him beyond this season.

Both Thompson and Harrison will be eligible to play in the postseason for the Lakers because neither one has been waived since March 1.