Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/8/13
For most rebuilding teams a No. 4 overall pick is a scarce commodity a player whose strengths and weaknesses you take into consideration when building the rest of your roster in order to put him in the best position to succeed. But when you have four top-four picks in three seasons like the Cleveland Cavaliers they become a little more expendable. Kyrie Irving is the franchise player; everyone else no matter how high a selection has to fit around him. Tristan Thompson the No. 4 pick in 2011 was never expected to carry the franchise. He was drafted to be Kyrie's defensive-minded sidekick someone who could anchor the defense and be a finisher on the pick-and-roll. Still only 22 as he heads into his third season he's established himself as a legitimate NBA player with a promising future. However with so many talented young players in Cleveland his place in the Cavaliers' long-term plans is unsettled. An athletic 6'9 230-pound power forward with a 7'1 wingspan Thompson came into the league with an NBA-ready body as well as a willingness to bang in the paint. Although he isn't the most skilled player with the ball in his hands he can be a difference-maker on the glass and defensively. After struggling through a difficult rookie campaign without much talent around him he began to blossom last year averaging 12 points nine rebounds and one block per game on 49 percent shooting. Interestingly enough Thompson played his best basketball in the second half of the season when Anderson Varejao was sidelined. Thompson like Varejao is a much more efficient player when he can play closer to the rim. Last season he shot 36 percent from outside of 10 feet. Defenses don't have to respect him on the perimeter which makes him much less valuable when paired with another non-shooting big man. He had a 16.6 PER as a power forward and a 20.6 as a center.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The best pick from every NBA Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peterson planning to return if Vikings stay in playoff hunt

Report: ‘Well has been poisoned’ for Lane Kiffin as USF candidate

Johnny Manziel tells Lamar Jackson not to go to Browns

NCAA president on Penn State: ‘How could you not be pleased?’

Chris Bosh likely to wait until next season to try comeback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jackson ‘intrigued’ by possible Eagles reunion

Bowles informed media of QB change before telling Fitzpatrick

John Wall rips teammates for lack of effort after loss

David Ortiz thinking about comeback after Chris Sale trade?

Jeff Fisher hilariously explains why he couldn’t find challenge flag

Dodgers have reportedly been in touch with Jose Bautista

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Box Score 12/6: Klay Thompson and the ball of fire

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

This Jaguars regime needs to be put out of its misery

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. 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

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

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