Cavaliers snatch up former Pacers center after comedic NBA playoff run

Indiana Pacers, Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets
Indiana Pacers, Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets /

The Cleveland Cavaliers just scooped up a former Indiana Pacers big man, and it’s a name most fans may have forgotten about. They signed veteran center Tristan Thompson to a one-year deal.

Thompson played four games for the Pacers during the 2021-22 campaign after he joined the team in the Tyrese Haliburton trade. However, after his short stint with the Pacers, Indiana released him, and he signed with the Chicago Bulls.

Now 32 years old, Thompson is in the final years of his career, and before getting picked up by the Cavaliers, the organization he spent the first nine years of his career with, it looked as though his time in the NBA could have been over.

However, off the back of some time with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Thompson is back in the league, which is wild considering how weird his time in LA was.

Cleveland Cavaliers sign former Indiana Pacers big man Tristan Thompson after comedic playoff run with Los Angeles Lakers

Thompson didn’t play in any regular season games for the Lakers, but they brought him on board for their postseason run. And what a run he had.

The Lakers signed Thompson right before the Play-In Tournament so he could play for them in the playoffs, and while he played in a couple of blowouts during the Golden State Warriors series, he appeared in four games against the Denver Nuggets.

Obviously, Nikola Jokic went on an incredible run with the Nuggets en route to a championship and the Finals MVP award, and while Thompson only spent 3:40 of court time guarding him, that was enough to get him talking.

Just one week after getting eliminated by the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals, Thompson was on ESPN previewing the NBA Finals and talking about how to guard Jokic.

Richard Jefferson opened the segment by introducing Thompson as someone who “failed” to guard Jokic, and Thompson went on to talk about how the Nuggets big man should be defended.

It was a hilarious time, as Thompson had spent the entire regular season out of the NBA just to get corralled back in by James, his former teammate, and cooked by one of the league’s best centers.

Then, as if that weren’t enough, he went on TV to talk about it right after getting beaten.

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The Cavaliers likely brought Thompson on board to be a veteran presence for their youngsters, but it’s still funny to see the former Pacers big man back in the league after such a hilarious playoff run in 2023.