Lakers Rumors: Tristan Thompson Finalizing Contract With Cavaliers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a successful 2022-23 season in which they made it to the Western Conference Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers came into this offseason looking to improve their roster in order to get back into title contention.

Unlike years past where the front office has overhauled the team in an effort to find complementary pieces around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers had the opportunity to bring back some of the players that contributed toward their late-season success.

They did exactly that by re-signing key players such as Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura. They also added some pieces like Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish.

With the backcourt looking covered for the most part, the attention then turned toward the frontcourt where the Lakers knew they needed an appropriate backup for Davis.

The Lakers have added a pair of big men on veteran minimum’s, first since Jaxson Hayes and then landing Christian Wood late in the offseason to complete their roster.

Some players from last year’s team are still out on the market such as Wenyen Gabriel and Tristan Thompson with L.A.’s roster being full. It appears that Thompson has found a new place to play though as he will be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:

At the end of the season, Thompson expressed his desire to return to the Lakers and although he won’t be getting his wish, he will be returning to a place he is very familiar with.

Thompson signed on with L.A. just before the Play-In Tournament in order to make him eligible for their playoff roster. He made sense as an insurance big because of his postseason experience and familiarity with James, though both sides understood his role would be minimal on a Laker team that had its rotation sorted out.

The 32-year-old spent most of the season with as an analyst for ESPN, but despite being away from the court showed in limited minutes that he had some gas left in the tank, which is why he’s getting this chance in Cleveland. In the Denver Nuggets series, Thompson looked good in an extended stint on the floor and should be a decent option during the regular season for the Cavaliers.

James reacts to Lakers’ free agency moves

The Lakers were extremely busy on the first two days of free agency, bringing back their key pieces while also improving around the edges as Rob Pelinka said they would do.

One person who appeared to approve of the Lakers’ moves was LeBron James as he took to Instagram, posting pictures of all of the Lakers’ signings.

James is also good friends with Thompson as well so he may be a bit bummed that he won’t be returning although has to be happy to see his former teammate returning to where it all started for both of them.

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