Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors
Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is expected to be able to play against Utah after his late scratch before Thursday’s win over the Lakers, a source told cleveland.com.
Thompson, who’s trying to come back from a left calf injury that’s cost him 20 games this season, warmed up and felt soreness prior to the Lakers game and was held out. A source close to Thompson said there was no further imaging done on Thompson Friday and he expects to play.
When the Cavaliers made the trade that sent away Kyrie Irving to Boston, the most critical element of the deal was the insurance policy the team got from the Celtics: the rights to the Nets’ top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, projected at the time to be a top-five choice in a draft that could feature a handful of franchise cornerstones. Nearly two months into the season, circumstances have changed for the Cavaliers, but according to league executives, one thing that has not changed has been Cleveland’s unwillingness to part with that Nets’ pick, even as Brooklyn has exceeded expectations, thus dinging the value of the pick.
“They would be open to a deal by all indications,” one general manager told Sporting News. “But they’re not talking about that pick. That’s the Plan B for the LeBron stuff and from what I know, they don’t want to budge on it.”
Cleveland has been linked to the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and Memphis’ Marc Gasol, but one source said any such deal is still a way off. The primary bait the Cavaliers could offer would be center Tristan Thompson, who has been dealing with a calf injury and has lost his spot as a starter.
“The only way they trade that would be a transformational player, someone who can help them win a championship,” one executive said. “I don’t think there is necessarily a player like that out there, at least not what’s been talked about so far. But you’re not going to deal away your chance at a top player in this draft for the right to lose to the Warriors again.”