Originally posted on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 10/8/12

Nick Mancini checks in with his second of five questions as Cavs open training camp...

2. Will Tristan Thompson make the offensive leap we're all hoping he'll make this season?

When the Cavaliers made Tristan Thompson the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft, first reaction from many fans might have been “who’s that”? He was coming off a season at Texas where he averaged 13 points and nearly eight rebounds per game. Solid, yet unspectacular.

He was raw, but everyone saw the potential right away. Last season in Cleveland, we also saw glimpses of what that potential could one day become on the NBA level. When Anderson Varejao went down with injury, Tristan's minutes increased. For the most part he capitalized.

Thompson finished his rookie campaign averaging 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. In 25 starts, those numbers increased to 10 points and 7.5 rebounds. A nice increase in production with respect to minutes played.

But he did struggle when receiving the ball in the post, however, mainly because he didn’t have a go-to move. He relied on athleticism and offensive rebounding for his baskets. But this seasons he needs to do more.

He finished last year at 43 percent shooting. I think it is reasonable to expect him to increase that to 47-49 percent. He said he wanted to work on his offensive game this summer and hopefully that work pays off.

Tristan will still get his share of touches on offensive rebounds alone. But if he can develop that ability to score with his back to the basket, or step out for a 10-12 foot jumper, the options are endless. We all know what we have in Kyrie Irving. With the addition of Dion Waiters, there will be some space for Thompson to operate inside. He will have to take advantage of that.

I personally think, if Thompson can be as improved as he says he can, this can go from a rebuilding team to something much more.  But if he struggles to create his own shot, this team may continue to need that “one more player” we often talk about. I really think Thompson will surprise a lot of people with his development though, not just in Cleveland but throughout whole League.

In two weeks we'll begin to find out for sure. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The Astros are going from really good to possibly great

John Harbaugh: Ravens exploring signing Kaepernick

Bryce Harper blames ejection, meltdown on pregame playlist

Defining Darvish: Is a deadline deal looming?

Kyrie Irving reportedly ignoring phone calls from Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Congress demands NFL pays $18 million bill

Report: Pedroia cheered loudly when Price told Eckersley off

Giancarlo Stanton mocks Jason Grilli after blasting home run

Adrian Beltre ejected for bizarre on-deck circle incident

Some coaches expect Tom Brady to 'dramatically age’

Joe Flacco could miss 3-6 weeks with back injury

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Adrian Beltre is a national treasure

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

Box Score 7/27: USMNT brings home the Gold Cup

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

Box Score 7/26: Nothing but grand slams

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Old Tom Brady is still the Ol' Tom Brady' quiz

The 10 craziest NFL offseason stories

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker