Thompson, 21, would be selected fourth overall in the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Texas. The 6’9, 227-pound native of Toronto, Ontario would average 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 60 games.
An intriguing blend of bruising strength and rawness, Thompson would record a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds during a 105-100 win over the New Jersey—now Brooklyn—Nets.
The former Longhorn would go on to record nine double-doubles while shooting 44.9 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Thompson would also display a knack for shot-blocking as he would average nearly one block per game at 0.9
While his offensive arsenal is not as refined and developed as Jamison’s, Thompson’s knack for rebounding, leaping ability and athleticism in the low post, may prove valuable for the Cavaliers in 2012-13.
Currently projected as the starter at power forward and occasional backup at starting center, Anderson Varejao, Thompson will have to do a better job of handling double teams and improve his footwork down low.
Based on his solid rookie season, there is no reason why Thompson will regress, as his ability to run the floor and cut to the basket in head coach Byron Scott’s up-tempo system make him a perfect fit.
If he continues to develop his mid-range game and improve from the free-throw line, Thompson will have a big season in 2012 for Cleveland and become the physical low-post shot-blocking presence that they need.
Robert D. Cobb is the NBA Network Manager for Rant Media Network, Featured Writer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Featured Columnist for the Cleveland Browns and Arsenal Gunners.
In addition to covering the NBA, I also cover MLB, NFL, NHL and Champions League soccer news, rumors and opinions, please follow me on Twitter at@RobertCobb_76