The Boston Celtics haven’t had a perfect offseason, but Tristan Thompson is an ideal fit for the interior.
The Boston Celtics are long past their days of being a miserable rebounding team, but Tristan Thompson represents the interior upgrade they’ve needed since before, during and after Al Horford’s tenure in Beantown.
As Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported on Saturday, Thompson has agreed to a two-year, $19 million deal with the Celtics.
While Daniel Theis’ defensive impact and Boston’s ability to play small shouldn’t be overlooked, Thompson is an underrated defensive presence who’s fallen under the radar since LeBron James’ departure left the Cleveland Cavaliers mired in obscurity. Now, he returns to a legitimate title contender on a bargain deal.
Tristan Thompson is a perfect fit for the Boston Celtics
General manager Danny Ainge hasn’t had an ideal offseason, to be fair. When Gordon Hayward decided to opt out and wanted to pursue a sign-and-trade with the Indiana Pacers, he could’ve recouped some assets for the departing free agent by agreeing to Indiana’s reported offer of Myles Turner and Doug McDermott.
Instead, he pulled a classic Ainge and overvalued his own assets, presenting a counteroffer of either Victor Oladipo or a package of Myles Turner and T.J. Warren. This obviously backfired, as the Celtics never reached a deal to get something out of Hayward’s free agency. Then the Charlotte Hornets came swopping in with a massive four-year, $120 million offer.
However, Thompson is definitely a snug fit for Boston’s frontcourt. He’s versatile defensively, is active on the boards and can roll to the basket to finish easy looks efficiently. Last season with the Cavs, he averaged a career-high 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor.
Thompson isn’t a stretch-big by any means, but he can hang defensively on the perimeter and will be a great two-way fit for Brad Stevens’ system at a more than reasonable price.