CLEVELAND — Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly opted to make Tristan Thompson available ahead of the league's trade deadline.
But if the Cavs can't find a deal for their ninth-year center ahead of 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, it appears that Thompson will be finishing the season in Cleveland.
While some had speculated that the Cavs could buyout Thompson if it can't find a trade for him, as it turns out, that won't be the case. According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, a Thompson buyout is "not an option" for Cleveland, who had talks with the Houston Rockets regarding the 28-year-old big man, which ultimately fell through.
Between his rebounding, defense and championship experience, Thompson could be an attractive target for any team hoping to make a push in what appears to be a wide-open championship race. Finding a deal that works, however, could prove complicated, as any team acquiring him would have to match his $18.5 million salary in a trade.
Currently in the final season of a 5-year, $82 million contract he signed in 2015, Thompson is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.
Selected by the Cavs with the No. 4 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson has spent the entirety of his nine-year career in Cleveland. In that span, he has averaged 9.4 points and 8.7 rebounds, including career-highs of 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds in 48 games this season.
Along with forward Kevin Love and guard Matthew Dellavedova, Thompson is one of three players from the Cavs' 2016 NBA championship team who still remains on Cleveland's roster.
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