Amico: Time for Cavs to move Thompson

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.


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.

18 Comments on "Amico: Time for Cavs to move Thompson"

  1. Yes i think they should make this happen good move its time for thompson to go.

  2. Sam, what is the likelihood of this trade actually becoming a real option for the Cavs? Is it being spoken about or is it more talking about moving pieces other than TT? I agree that the Cavs should trade TT ASAP.

  3. Don’t you lose more defense with that trade?

    • IMHO… and I haven’t looked at the D ratings at the NBA yet this a.m., I’m thinking it’s pretty much a push. What we’d lose is the offensive rebounding.

  4. I really hope this happens.

  5. Sam, I haven’t ever seen you play GM like this before. You may have before, but I just haven’t seen it. I like it. Because this one is serious and I believe there’s a lot more like me whom agree this is breaking the team apart even though he’s been a big part of it. As Jonathan Winters would say, “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”

  6. Brett A Bland | November 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm |

    I like it. Gives cavs a real big.

  7. Amen to this trade! Let it be so! The Kurse is real. Just witness Jeff Van Gundy spending the first 5 minutes of the NBA Finals defending TT’s relationship with Khloe, saying it had no effect on his play. TT proceeded to play like balls-out garbage, getting thoroughly sonned by Zsa Zsa. If Cavs can ship TT and Khloe to Phoenix, it becomes their problem. I will that entire K family were shipped to the desert, or the moon, or better yet, the nearest black hole.

  8. You read my mind, Sam. I would love to see the Cavs finally break the curse and trade Tristan Thompson. The entire team seems to be effected by the Kardashian Kurse.

    • If the Suns dont want Thompson… we should ask the Lakers to be the 3rd team in this deal and to send the Kardashian to LA where it belongs… use that Nets pick to get KCP and Monroe… and ship out all our garbage (TT, Frye, Shump, etc.)

      • Trading TT a possibility but trading the Brooklyn pick isn’t going to happen right now. Cleveland will wait for IT to see what they look like and then go from there.

  9. Helena Toroya | November 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm |

    Cavaliers weakest link is their center spot as TT is undersize, lacks intimidating presence to scare opponents from attacking the rim. Yes, he is a relentless worker but he is often outwork and outmuscled by bigger and taller centers. And he is also a big liability in offense….. Frye is taller but too soft and loves to take his shots from afar….Love can produce points and grab rebounds but another liability in defense…. Zizic, Osman and Calderon are useless additions. I suggest they trade TT, Frye and Zizic to the Suns for Monroe and Chandler. Monroe can help Cavs in offense while Chandler is still a good rim protector, rebounder with a better offensive IQ than TT…….

    • I love the idea of getting both Monroe and Chandler in exchange for Thompson, Frye and Zizic. We get 2 solid starting caliber centers on expiring contracts. Chandler would probably play for minimum salary next season, and Monroe could be easily kept for much less as well. Thompson is not worth the $94 million we are paying him, so pulling off this deal would be like a gift from the Basketball Gods. Thank you Phoenix and James Jones if this trade happens.

  10. I understand where coming from Sam. But, I just think that trade would make the Cavaliers less athletic. And that’s not what this team needs. In my opinion, the only player that the Cavs should be focusing on is DeAndre Jordan. If the Cavs have a chance to acquire him. They have a shot.

    • If we can get DeAndre in a player for player trade then yes we would have to but DeAndre is also a free agent at the end of the year so we couldn’t give up to much. If nothing happens with a trade the Cavs should pursue him in free agency barring we get rid of TT and his crazy contract.

  11. Sohail shaker | November 13, 2017 at 12:11 am |

    Kyrie left a politics in cavs, it needs to finish.good move for cavs.maybe they need one more.james, love, wade and team management knows what I’m talking about.

  12. Sam I agree with you about trading away Tristan Thompson for Gregg Monroe yet I believe with several years remaining on Thompson’s contract and a one dimensional player the suns may not want to consummate this transaction. I am affraid that the Cavalier’s may have to keep Thompson as there is not as much interest in him as some may expect. His 0 rebound game against Kanter and the knicks, allowing Kanter to dominate him, may be a harbinger of bad performances for a player that may have a decline at age 26.

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