Since I know Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman is sitting around and thinking, “Well, I’d better wait to hear from Amico,” I’m about ready to tell him what to do.
And if I’m GM of the Cavs, the answer is simple: Trade Tristan Thompson.
And I’d start by offering the Cavs center to the Phoenix Suns. A deal of Thompson for Greg Monroe, straight up, works under the salary cap.
Monroe was acquired by the Suns in the Eric Bledsoe trade with the Milwaukee Bucks last week. The Suns are looking to trade Monroe and his expiring 17.8 million contract.
As Amico Hoops reported Saturday, the Cavs are interested.
Monroe is 27-years old and 6-foot-11. He compiled averages of 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 81 games with the Bucks last season. He increased those averages to 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds in the playoffs. Monroe is a pro’s pro, a laid-back friend to everyone in the locker room.
Meanwhile, Thompson is 26 and 6-9. He averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in 78 games last season. Those numbers stayed right about the same in the playoffs — but he’s only averaging 4.4 points this season. In one game this year, he compiled one point and zero rebounds.
Yeah, I know.
Today, Thompson is out with a calf strain for what appears to be at least another few weeks. In his defense, he has been a reliable ironman for his entire career. He plays through injuries, he grabs offensive rebounds, he is excellent at switching out on guards defensively.
Last season, I wouldn’t have made such a trade.
While Monroe is better offensively, Thompson has been an energizer off the bench and a relentless rebounder since the Cavs drafted him with the No. 4 overall pick in 2011.
Not this year.
This year, Thompson looks more interested in being on TV. And I’m not talking about FOX Sports Ohio.
KEEPING UP WITH THE CAVS
As we all know, Thompson has been in a serious relationship with Khloe Kardashian. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. It’s his business, I guess.
But when you date or marry or fall in love with a Kardashian, you’d better be smart enough to know what comes with it. There is a lot of fame, and not all of it (and often none of it) is good.
More importantly, the Cavs need to ask if having the circus in town is the best thing for this team. Here’s a clue: It’s not. It’s a distraction.
Some players may say they’re not distracted — but some are. I know I would be.
It would be different if Thompson were a LeBron James, a player you just couldn’t live without. But Thompson is very limited compared to other big men, including Monroe.
Yes, Thompson’s deflating-to-the-opposition offensive rebounds are invaluable. He has served an important role. Still, remember, no one started talking about Thompson until James showed up.
LeBron could do for Monroe what LeBron has done for Thompson — and that would be to make Monroe seem better than he is, a big man who suddenly becomes more effective playing next to a star like James.
And Thompson would be an excellent fit for the young-and-rebuilding Suns. He would bring lots of buzz to a franchise in desperate need of some.
Anyway, the Cavs are struggling. They need a move. If they were to make a trade of Thompson for Monroe, it wouldn’t have to be their final move. They still might need some help.
But it would be a good place to start, and Altman and the Cavs should get to work and make it happen.