The Boston Celtics lost Gordon Hayward on Saturday, but they didn't go to bed empty-handed.
Celtics fans should know Thompson well from Boston's many battles with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past decade. The 29-year-old brings a high motor to the C's in addition to reinforcements on the glass: He averaged a double-double last season (12 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) and ranked second in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (4.0).
On an emergency episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg and Kyle Draper weighed in on the Thompson acquisition.
"I think we know that Tristan Thompson is a walking double-double, the sort of true big that the Celtics have lacked," Forsberg said. "Not necessarily the defensive juggernaut to throw out there against a Joel Embiid, but he will help based on just size alone, controlling the glass and being a presence around the basket."
The Celtics needed frontcourt depth after trading Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier earlier this week, and Forsberg believes Thompson is a good fit for Boston's big man rotation.
"The Celtics found a quality big man to fill that void," Forsberg said. "You feel a lot more comfortable now with the depth chart having him, (Daniel) Theis, Time Lord (Robert Williams) and Grant Williams. Grant Williams can play some 4 now. This was a good little recovery as they start plotting their path forward without Hayward."
Draper is a big fan of Thompson's efficiency: The veteran big man averaged a career high in points last season despite ranking eighth on the Cavs in usage rate.
NBC Sports Boston Illustration
"He's a worker. He's a big time rebounder, especially on the offensive end," Draper said. "It's not like you've got to call any plays for him. You mentioned he's a walking double-double, and I can bet you it's without getting any post-ups or any plays called for him, right? He just hustles."
Thompson likely will continue that role on a Celtics team top-heavy with scoring talent in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.
Forsberg and Draper discussed whether Thompson will start for Boston, as well, and also were joined by Brian Scalabrine to get his incredulous reaction to Hayward joining the Hornets.