Tristan Thompson

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Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson.jpg
Thompson with the Cavaliers in November 2012
No. 13 – Cleveland Cavaliers
Position Power forward
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1991-03-13) March 13, 1991 (age 24)
Toronto, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Listed height 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Listed weight 238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nevada)
College Texas (2010–2011)
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Pro career 2011–present
Career history
2011–present Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Tristan Trevor James Thompson (born March 13, 1991) is a Canadian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for Texas before being drafted fourth overall by the Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA draft.[1] He also represents Canada in international competition.

High school career[edit]

Born in Toronto, Thompson attended St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School in the nearby Brampton. After driving from Brampton twice to visit a prep school in the United States, he decided to attend Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey for his sophomore year along with fellow University of Texas at Austin commit Myck Kabongo. He cited the increase in exposure and skill level as his reason for transferring schools.[2]

Thompson spent his sophomore and half his junior year at St. Benedict's, making an immediate impact and showing flashes of brilliance throughout the way.[3] In his short time at St. Benedict's, he shot through the ranks to super-stardom, becoming the top recruit in the nation entering his junior season.[4] The top basketball programs in the nation heavily sought Thompson, who made the first verbal commitment of the class of 2010 to Rick Barnes and the Texas Longhorns.[5]

Twenty-one games into his junior year, the relationship between Thompson and then-St. Benedict's coach-Dan Hurley hit a rough patch. Hurley's in-your-face, no holds barred coaching style took a toll on the young star. During a game against then-top-ranked Mater Dei, Hurley confronted Thompson during a time out. A heated debate ensued, and Thompson was sent off the court and later removed from the team.[6] Over the next few days he made it known that he was planning to leave, resulting in a barrage of calls from the top prep schools throughout North America, all trying to acquire the top recruit's services. The next week he transferred to Findlay Prep with his friend, AAU teammate and future Texas Longhorn Cory Joseph.[7][8]

Thompson joined Findlay on the back end of their schedule, making an immediate impact on the team and thriving under Findlay coach Michael Peck's system and coaching style. Thompson solidified his top recruit status and helped lead Findlay to their first National Championship. He continued to round and polish his skills his senior year in preparation for college and continued to hold fast to his commitment to the University of Texas, officially signing his letter of intent on November 11, 2009.[9] Thompson then led his team to another National Championship at the ESPN National Championship Invitational.[10] After their senior year, Thompson and Joseph were the fourth and fifth Canadians to be named McDonald's All-Americans following Bill Wennington (1981), Barry Bekkedam (1986) and Olu Famutimi (2003).[11] Thompson also was named a Jordan Brand Classic All-American.[12]

College career[edit]

Thompson averaged 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the Texas Longhorns in 2010–11 as he won the team's Most Valuable Player award, as voted on by his fellow teammates. Nationally, Thompson was one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award, an honor given to the National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Thompson won the Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors as well as first-team NABC All-District 8 and USBWA All-District VII honors.[13] He led the team in rebounding, blocked shots (86), double-doubles (10) and field goal percentage (.546) while ranking second in scoring. He helped Texas conclude the 2010–11 season with a 28-8 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The Longhorns finished No. 8 in the final AP poll.[14]

Thompson told media after the NCAA tournament that he planned to return to Texas for his sophomore season but changed his mind.[15] On April 21, 2011, he declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his three years of college eligibility.[16]


College statistics[edit]

2010–11 Texas 36 34 30.7 .546 .000 .487 7.8 1.3 .9 2.4 13.1

Professional career[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

On June 23, 2011, Thompson was drafted fourth overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. At the time, he was the highest drafted Canadian born and bred player in NBA history[18]Anthony Bennett was selected first overall in 2013 while Andrew Wiggins was also selected first overall in 2014. He continued to make history drafted alongside his former teammate and roommate since high school Cory Joseph who went pick 29 to the San Antonio Spurs, one of only two occasions in NBA history that two Canadians were selected in the first round of the same draft, the other being in 1983 when Leo Rautins and Stewart Granger were selected 17th and 25th, respectively.[19] The 2011 draft was also the first time three Texas Longhorn basketball players went in the first round of a draft when Thompson's former collegiate teammate Jordan Hamilton went 26th overall to Dallas Mavericks.[20][21]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2011–present)[edit]

2011–12 season[edit]

During the 2011 NBA lockout, Thompson attended classes at the University of Texas to finish his college degree.[22] Thompson signed his rookie contract with the Cavaliers on December 9, 2011 before the start of training camp.[23] Thompson made his professional debut against his hometown Toronto Raptors on December 26, 2011. In 17 minutes off the bench, Thompson scored 12 points and pulled in 5 rebounds.[24] Thompson came off the bench behind veteran forwards Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao for the first three months of his rookie season but still managed to make his presence known on both ends. His production increased in February as his minutes increased, and he recorded three double-doubles that month. His best performance in February was a 15-point, 12-rebound, two-block effort in 30 minutes of play as the Cavaliers defeated Sacramento 93-92. Both Thompson and teammate Kyrie Irving were later named to the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge. However, Thompson was selected to play for Team Shaq, while Irving was selected by Team Chuck.

Thompson was inserted into the starting lineup on March 18 against Atlanta as Varejao continued to recover from a fractured wrist. He recorded seven points and six rebounds. The turning point of his season came in the following game against New Jersey, when he posed a 27-point, 12-rebound performance in a 105-100 road win. After Varejao was ruled out indefinitely, head coach Byron Scott decided to start Thompson at center for the remainder of the regular season.[25] Thompson didn't disappoint, upping his averages to 9.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and just under one block per game as a starter. He shone in April even with Cleveland out of the playoff race, scoring in double figures in 10 of his final 16 games and blocking a season-high four shots against Memphis on April 23. He finished the season with averages of 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 60 games as he earned NBA All-Rookie second team honors, becoming the first Canadian to ever earn All-Rookie team honors in the NBA.

2012–13 season[edit]

In 2012–13, Thompson worked on avoiding getting his own shots blocked.[26] For most of the season, almost 17%, or one out of six, of his shots were blocked,[a] threatening former NBA player Danny Fortson's 16.7% rate in 1997–98. Thompson dropped to around 15% by season's end, which was only reached by three other players before the season.[b][27] He went on to average 3.7 offensive rebounds per game, which ranked fifth in the NBA and first among second year players, and set the Cavaliers franchise record for most offensive rebounds in a single season with 306 (second in the NBA), surpassing Zydrunas Ilgauskas' 299 offensive rebounds in the 2004–05 season. He also recorded a team-high 31 double-doubles on the season, becoming just the ninth player in franchise history to total at least 30 double-doubles in a single season. He started all 82 games in 2012–13 as he averaged 11.7 points on .488 shooting, 9.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 31.3 minutes per game.[28]

2013–14 season[edit]

In the 2013 off-season, Thompson decided to switch his shooting hand to his right instead of his left.[29] Despite the change, he had an almost identical season for the Cavaliers in 2013–14 as he started all 82 games while averaging 11.7 points and 9.2 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game. He tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with a team-leading and career-best 36 double-doubles.[28]

NBA career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

2011–12 Cleveland 60 25 23.7 .439 .000 .552 6.5 0.5 0.5 1.0 8.2
2012–13 Cleveland 82 82 31.3 .488 .000 .608 9.4 1.3 0.7 0.9 11.7
2013–14 Cleveland 82 82 31.6 .477 .000 .693 9.2 0.9 0.5 0.4 11.7
Career 224 189 29.4 .473 .000 .630 8.6 0.9 0.6 0.8 10.8

International career[edit]

Thompson represented his country and Canada Basketball at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in 2008 where Canada won the bronze medal placing behind Argentina and the United States. Thompson once again competed for Canada, this time at the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand alongside his good friend, high school teammate and fellow NBA player, Cory Joseph.[30]


Thompson is the eldest of four sons of Trevor and Andrea Thompson, who are of Jamaican descent.[31] His brother, Dishawn, currently plays high school basketball for Wesley Christian High School in Allen, Kentucky where he is a highly rated prospect.[32] He is also the cousin of former Virginia State University football standout, and former Canadian Football League defensive tackle, Jemal Thompson.[33]

In 2012, Thompson partnered with BioSteel Sports Supplements.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The league average is 6.3% of shots being blocked
  2. ^ Comparison limited to players who attempted at least 500 field goals in a season since 1997, the earliest for which has data.


  1. ^ "Tristan Thompson". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  2. ^ "Canadian prospects searching for more exposure at American schools". CNN. February 27, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Top High School Prospects at the 2007 City of Palms Classic". DraftExpress. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  4. ^ "Canada Basketball". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Tristan Thompson (St. Benedict’s, NJ) Class of 2010 Picks Texas « Grassrootsballin". 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  6. ^ Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger. "Texas recruit Tristan Thompson kicked off St. Benedict's boys basketball team |". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  7. ^ Simmons, Steve (2009-02-13). "'Insulting' treatment | Columnists | Opinion". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Tristan Thompson Transfering to Finlay Prep". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Men's Basketball signs Tristan Thompson to National Letter of Intent - - Official website of University of Texas Athletics - Texas Longhorns". 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  10. ^ "Findlay Prep Repeats at the Second Annual ESPN RISE National High School Invitational – Corey Joseph MVP". April 3, 2010. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Every SuperStar Starts with a Nomination". 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  12. ^ "Jordan Brand All-American Classic". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Trio of Longhorns Earn USBWA All-District VII Honors - - Official website of University of Texas Athletics - Texas Longhorns". 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  14. ^ History and Future of Basketball in Canada
  15. ^ Texas' Tristan Thompson to return
  16. ^ Report: Tristan Thompson will declare for NBA draft
  17. ^ "Thompson, Joseph named to USBWA Freshman All-America Team - - Official website of University of Texas Athletics - Texas Longhorns". 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  18. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (2011-06-23). "Thompson makes Canadian NBA history | Basketball | Sports". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  19. ^ "1983 NBA Draft". 1983-06-28. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  20. ^ "Canada Basketball". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  21. ^ Kate Hairopoulos (2011-06-24). "Orange rush: 3 Horns taken in NBA draft's 1st round for first time | Dallas-Fort Worth College Sports News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  22. ^ Tommy Alter. "Rookie Tristan Thompson, guard Stephen Curry endure lockout effects - NBA -". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  23. ^ Northeast Ohio. "Cleveland Cavaliers sign Irving, Thompson to rookie deals". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  24. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (2011-12-26). "Canadian Thompson has strong NBA debut | Basketball | Sports". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  25. ^ "Recent news on Tristan Thompson - Cleveland Cavaliers". 1991-03-13. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  26. ^ Valade, Jodie (November 29, 2012). "Tristan Thompson gets advice from an old pro on avoiding blocks: Cleveland Cavaliers Insider". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. 
  27. ^ Dwyer, Kelly (April 17, 2013). "Tristan Thompson neared NBA infamy before Zydrunas Ilgauskas taught him how not to get blocked". Archived from the original on April 17, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Tristan Thompson Stats, Video, Bio, Profile". Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  29. ^ Tristan Thompson will switch shooting hands next season
  30. ^ "Canada Basketball". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  31. ^ Charles F. (June 13, 2011). "Williams cream of forwards crop". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  32. ^ Dishawn Thompson emerging as top recruit
  33. ^ "Player Bio: Tristan Thompson - - Official website of University of Texas Athletics - Texas Longhorns". 1991-03-13. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  34. ^ Tristan Thompson Net Worth

External links[edit]