Tristan Thompson

Paul Pierce makes case for Tristan Thompson to pursue buyout, Celtics

Paul Pierce makes case for Tristan Thompson to pursue buyout, Celtics

Tristan Thompson will not pursue a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce is hoping he changes his mind.

Pierce, who's now an NBA analyst on ESPN, made a case for Thompson on Thursday's episode of "The Jump" to pursue a buyout and ultimately join the Celtics ahead of the playoffs.

"Tristan, you are the one player who can put the Boston Celtics over the top," Pierce said. "Taking a couple extra less millions is worth it. I'm telling you, it's worth it."

Short and sweet from Pierce.

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It's possible Thompson could change his mind, and it probably would be the best decision for him.

He would lose some money if bought out, but he's finishing up a five-year, $82 million contract that ended up being an overpay by the Cavaliers. It's also worth noting Cleveland acquired a player very similar to Thompson in Andre Drummond before Thursday's NBA trade deadline. The Cavs dumped a few bad contracts to take Drummond from the Detroit Pistons in a trade that likely will benefit neither side.

Leaving the Cavs and playing for a contender would be a lot more exciting for Thompson through the end of the season. The alternative is playing 25 to 30 minutes for one of the worst teams in the league.

Thompson would likely play an important role on the Celtics. Boston would be wise to bolster its center depth on the buyout market, and Thompson's rebounding and interior defense would be valuable to the C's. Thompson also has plenty of playoff experience thanks to four NBA Finals appearances when the Cavs were led by LeBron James from 2014-15 through 2017-18.

Winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline

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NBA Rumors: Celtics could look at these potential buyout candidates

NBA Rumors: Celtics could look at these potential buyout candidates

BOSTON — The trade deadline has come and gone and the Boston Celtics look no different. 

But the roster you see today may have a slightly different look in the coming days once the recently agreed-upon trades become official and the buyout market becomes clearer. 

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From the very beginning of this season, the expectation was that barring a major blockbuster-type of deal, the most logical pathway towards roster enhancement for Boston would be through the buyout market. 

And while most of these players are still with their respective teams, don’t be surprised if a few become available in the near future. 

And if that’s the case, you can count on the Celtics being among the squads looking to add to a roster that’s already among the better clubs in the Eastern Conference. 

Click here for a look at some of the better buyout possibilities for the Celtics. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the NBA trade deadline. Thursday at 7 p.m., tune into our Celtics Trade Deadline Special with Mike, Kyle, Scal, Chris & Sherrod plus an interview with Danny Ainge — or stream it on the MyTeams app.

NBA rumors: Could Celtics target Tristan Thompson on buyout market?

NBA rumors: Could Celtics target Tristan Thompson on buyout market?

The Boston Celtics didn't make a move ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but that doesn't mean their roster is completely finished.

The buyout market is the last place for contending teams to upgrade their rosters before the playoffs, and a few quality players could find themselves available in the coming weeks.

One of the most intriguing players who could be bought out is Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson. The Cavs reportedly made Thompson available before the trade deadline but couldn't find a suitor for the 28-year-old center. Cleveland made a surprising move before the deadline to acquire Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, who's pretty similar to Thompson skill-wise. Therefore, Drummond's presence makes Thompson pretty expendable.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Would the Celtics be interested in Thompson if he's bought out? ESPN's Brian Windhorst discussed that scenario during Thursday's episode of "The Jump".

A buyout of Thompson is not guaranteed, however. The Athletic's David Aldridge reported Thursday that Thompson won't be bought out. It's worth noting things could change, but the decision ultimately is Cleveland's.

Thompson is averaging 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers this season. He's a very good rebounder, he's a quality interior defender, and he would give the Celtics another big body to defend the likes of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid in a potential playoff series. 

The Celtics don't have a glaring weakness on their roster, and that's why not making a trade before Thursday's deadline isn't a huge deal. Adding some depth in the frontcourt through the buyout wouldn't hurt, though, and Thompson would be an ideal target for Boston if he becomes available.

NBA trade deadline live: Tracking latest updates, news

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the NBA trade deadline. Thursday at 7 p.m., tune into our Celtics Trade Deadline Special with Mike, Kyle, Scal, Chris & Sherrod plus an interview with Danny Ainge.