While you were out hunting down frozen turkeys and cranberry sauce in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, NBA veteran Tristan Thompson had a whole lot more going on. Among other things, Thompson was filling out change of address cards after signing a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics following nine seasons as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Locking in the $19 million deal with a serious NBA championship contender wasn’t even the best part of his week.
Tristan Thompson is now a Boston Celtic
Tristan Thompson is averaging 9.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 619 regular-season games since 2011, and he’s been a marvel of consistency along the way. He’s never averaged better than 12.0 points or 10.2 rebounds a game for a season, but he’s seldom far off his career averages.
That made for nine reliable seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who selected Thompson fourth overall in the 2011 NBA draft. The Toronto native came to the Cavs by way of the University of Texas. Thompson played just one season for the Longhorns, averaging 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds in helping them to a 28-8 record.
After originally saying he intended to return for his sophomore season, Thompson instead entered the NBA draft at the age of 20. Only four of the other 59 players selected in 2011 have appeared in more games.
A busy career in Cleveland, on and off the court
His ability to play either power forward or center made Tristan Thompson a valuable part of the Cleveland Cavaliers even though he wasn’t posting big numbers. Beginning with his second season, he played all 82 games for four straight years.
When the Cavs made the playoffs four straight seasons beginning in 2015, Thompson averaged 7.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per postseason game. He helped Cleveland to the 2016 NBA championship.
It’s added up to an average of just a shade under $11 million a year in salary for Thompson. He’ll be taking a pay cut with the Boston Celtics after signing for $19 million over two years, but he’ll also be playing for a contender. And the spotlight won’t faze him, given what Thompson is used to off the court.
Thompson became linked romantically to reality TV star Khloe Kardashian in the summer of 2016, and the couple had a daughter together in 2018. Around that time, however, Thompson and Kardashian broke up amid rumors that he had an affair during her pregnancy.
The couple has been reported to be getting along amicably recently, and the Boston Globe reported Kim Kardashian West went on Instagram to congratulate Thompson on his contract with the Celtics.
Tristan Thompson is now a U.S. citizen
Moving to the Boston Celtics is a nice career move for Tristan Thompson, but it wasn’t his biggest accomplishment last week. In fact, it was practically an afterthought. He had other business to wrap up before flying to Boston.
The 29-year-old from Toronto became a U.S. citizen on Nov. 24, 2020. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services tweeted a photo of Thompson as the oath was administered.
“I came to the U.S. on a student visa and have always had big dreams. I’m now truly living the American dream,” Thompson said.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.