Most of the focus of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2011 NBA Draft went to the fact that they were able to nab Kyrie Irving with the number-one overall pick. However, the Cavaliers also had the fourth-overall pick in that draft, which they used to select Tristan Thompson. In his rookie season, Thompson submitted a mediocre performance. This season, though, he’s showing a lot of promise for Cleveland.
Last year Thompson averaged just 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. He also shot just 43.9 percent from the field and only converted on 55.2 percent from the foul-line. His potential was obvious, but his inefficiency and free-throw shooting were both causes for concern and things that he would have to work on. It seems like he undoubtedly put in a great deal of work.
This season, Thompson has evolved into a much more competent post-presence. He’s averaged 11.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Those numbers are solid, but they are also due to his increase in minutes this season. The most impressive part about this season for Thompson is that he’s been able to improve his field goal percentage to 49.1 percent and his percentage from the charity-stripe to 65.4 percent. Obviously, those numbers still have room for improvement in the future, but they are considerably better than how he performed in his rookie season.
Despite being picked high in the draft, not many people expected Thompson to be a superstar in the NBA. That’s fair, because he’s probably not going to be that type of player. However, if he can continue to develop and work on his game, there’s no doubt that he can be a quality young complement to Irving. That alone has to leave the Cavs optimistic.