Ready or Not: Tristan Thompson

Should he stay or go? Here's a take on the pros and cons of Tristan Thompson's game.

Pros: Thompson is an athletic and high-effort player. His great length and quick leaping ability helps to offset his lack of ideal height or size. He's a terror on the offensive glass because of the effort he puts in, and was largely a tough matchup, even for high-level college big men. Outplayed Perry Jones III, a potential high-lottery pick, when the two teams matched up. Can be an intimidating figure on defense, blocking shots and altering many others. Because of that ability, he served as the final line of defense for a Texas defense that was among the nation's best.


Cons: Is incredibly raw. Lacks a back-to-the-basket post-up game. Doesn't have a jump shot. Is a poor free throw shooter. Thompson lacks great height or bulk for the position. Would be well-served to return for a year and bulk up to 250 pounds. He's a shot-blocker, but wouldn't necessarily be called a strong defender in the NBA, where power forwards are athletic enough to give him problems in space.


Final Take: Thompson is in a rough spot. He's not overly tall, nor does he have the skill to overcome that lack of height at this point. He gets most of his production based on athleticism and effort, which won't help him make hay at the next level. He's just raw, and he's not elite enough defensively to force his way onto the court at this point. Somebody could take him high as a potential guy, particularly in a draft where several quality big men elected to return to college. But without putting in a lot of work, Thompson won't be more than an off-the-bench big man at the next level.


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