After the Celtics lost Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, Danny Ainge had to make some moves quickly. Whether it was all apart of the plan or not, Ainge did exactly that. He signed both Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague to deals to fill out Boston’s roster. Out of the two signings, Tristan Thompson is going to make the biggest impact for the Celtics.
Tristan Thompson does a lot of little things that the Celtics look for in a big man. He can defend, rebound, and most importantly, has started to spread the floor. Thompson isn’t the greatest defender in the world, but he can hold his own in the paint against opposing bigs.
Thompson’s ability to rebound the ball at a high level is the strongest part of his game. Known as a walking double-double, Thompson has averaged over ten rebounds a game over the last two seasons. The Celtics haven’t had a player average over ten rebounds in a season since Al Jefferson in 06/07. This alone will tell you how much of an impact Thompson will make on the team.
Thompson has never been the player who will step outside and shoot three-pointers in a game. That all changed last season after Thompson added a three-point shot to his arsenal. Before last season, Thompson had shot 0-8 from three in eight NBA seasons. Last year, he shot 9-23 from three. It’s not a large sample size, but I already know Brad Stevens will get Thompson used to shooting the three-ball more often.
After trading Enes Kanter to Portland, Boston needed another addition at the center position. Danny Ainge found the team a pretty good replacement in Thompson, who has an excellent chance to start once the season begins. I believe Theis should start for now, but overtime Thompson should take the starting role.
Not for nothing, Thompson adds a ton of postseason and championship experience to the team. In nine seasons, Thompson has made the playoffs four times, which includes four consecutive NBA Finals appearances. With one ring under his belt, Thompson knows what it takes to win and will bring that championship mentality to Boston.
Tristan Thompson may not be the big man Celtics fans wanted, but he’s just what the team needs. The Celtics don’t need to trade for Myles Turner or Andre Drummond when they can sign someone who can already do what they do for cheap. Danny Ainge continues to play chess while everyone else plays checkers.
I did not expect Tristan Thompson to be the first free agent Boston signed, but I’m more than happy with the move. For $9M a season, Thompson will be a steal for Boston, considering how much of an impact he’ll make on the team.
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