Reason for: Familiarity with LeBron and the postseason
It is no secret that Tristan Thompson and LeBron James are fairly acquainted with each other. While Thompson was the fifth-best player on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ title-winning team, he was a huge contributor, especially coming up against the smaller Golden State Warriors, and the Cavs might not have won the title in 2016 without him.
That means something. Teams are not going to get a huge asset from the buyout market and everyone knows that. But to get someone who not only has familiarity with your top star but has seen just about anything someone can see in the playoffs? Now that is a lot to come out of a bought-out player.
The numbers are not overly impressive in the playoffs, averaging 7.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, but the experience and the trust that the Lakers would have in throwing Thompson out there instead of, say, Kyle Kuzma is a big deal.
Thompson has been quietly solid for the Cavaliers this season as well. The 28-year-old big man is averaging 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. If his contact was not so large then he would have been a big name to watch for during the NBA Trade Deadline.
Thompson would bring great title experience to any contender that would bring him in. It is amplified in LA with the existing relationship with LeBron James.