Tristan Thompson speaking to a referee.
Tristan Thompson speaking to a referee.

The NBA free agency period hasn’t been too kind to the Boston Celtics. The legendary franchise missed out on its attempt to trade for Jrue Holiday, and today, lost Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. The team picked up an important win today though, landing Tristan Thompson.

Thompson, who was taken No. 4 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011, has never played for another franchise. He won the NBA Finals with LeBron James and company in 2016.

Despite his long NBA career, Thompson is just 29 years old. He’s also coming off one of his best career seasons, posting a career high 12 points along with 10.1 rebounds per game.

If the Boston Celtics have been missing something, it is a true interior presence. Enes Kanter, who was just traded back to the Portland Trail Blazers where he played a few seasons ago, is a talented offensive big, but is not a good defender. Young big Robert Williams III is still unproven, and Daniel Theis is very much an offense-focus player. This is a nice add for Boston. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins went so far as to call it the “missing piece to the puzzle.”

That may be overstating things a bit. Hayward was hurt for much of his Celtics tenure, but when healthy last season, he showed glimpses of being the player he was with the Utah Jazz.

This move may give the Celtics a serious jolt though. WIth Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, they have one of the better trios in the Eastern Conference. We know that Tristan Thompson can play important minutes inside for a championship team.

The Boston Celtics fell to the Miami Heat in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals earlier this fall. We’ll see if Brad Stevens can finally get the team over the hump in an improving East this coming season.

[Kendrick Perkins]

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