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.
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.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Hawks-Celtics, which begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.