Cleveland Cavaliers

Tristan Thompson and Cleveland Cavaliers have 'mutual interest,' says general manager Koby Altman

Maybe Tristan Thompson won't be wearing a different uniform next season after all.

Ahead of the team's in-market bubble, which begins next week, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman told the media there's "mutual interest" in a return.

"I think it's fair to say there's mutual interest for sure," Altman said of Thompson. "He's been with this franchise his entire career since we drafted him. He's won a championship here. Obviously, he means a lot to the players on the team right now, but it has to make sense.

"There are some events coming up - the draft, free agency - where we have to see if it makes sense for him. He's earned the right to be an unrestricted free agent and explore opportunities at this point in his career. So, we'll see."

The No. 4 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thompson has spent his entire career with the Cavaliers, posting averages of 9.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. He started in all 21 games at centre during the team's championship run in 2016.

Coming off of his age 28 season, Thompson is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He's widely regarded as being one of the best centres available.

Complicating his future in Cleveland is that the Cavaliers traded for Andre Drummond, who plays the same position as Thompson, at this season's trade deadline. Drummond has a player option in his contract for next season worth $28.8 million, opening up the possibility of him becoming an unrestricted free agent as well, but he made it clear in June that he intends on picking it up.

A source told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that there's a "50-50" chance of a reunion between Thompson and the Cavaliers, "with the leaguewide salary cap uncertainty bumping up those odds the last few months."

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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