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RUMOR: Cavs’ Tristan Thompson buyout unlikely as Rockets struggle to make deal

Tristan Thompson, Cavs, Rockets

The Houston Rockets have done their due diligence looking for a backup center in the trade market but have been unable to come to an agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers for big man Tristan Thompson, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Looking to get Thompson from the Cavs as a potential buyout candidate would not be an option, according to Haynes.

Thompson is having a career year for the Cavs, averaging 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game while making a beefy $18.5 million in the last year of a five-year, $82 million pact he signed in 2015.

The Cavs have been shopping Thompson, even if they see potential to re-sign him in the summer, though to a much lower figure than what he’s making this season.

The Rockets lost their starting big man when they traded Clint Capela as part of a wild four-team trade with the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Denver Nuggets — reportedly now planning to play 6-foot-6 PJ Tucker at center for the remainder of the season.

Mike D’Antoni’s commitment to #smallballlife come with its share of predicaments, however, considering the Rockets might be tested by true centers like Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic during the postseason.

That’s where a player like Thompson could come in handy, with the size to give those big-time centers a fight, but without the need to soak in 30-plus minutes a night.

The Rockets’ other option, Dewayne Dedmon, also returned to Atlanta in a trade with the Sacramento Kings, leaving the Rockets with very few options besides Thompson to fit into that role.