clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Season Review: Tristan Thompson

While his time with the Lakers was short, Tristan Thompson made an impact on the Lakers and a strong case for returning next season.

NBA: MAY 22 Western Conference Final - Nuggets at Lakers Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Lakers signing Tristan Thompson heading into the postseason was a move done largely for his off-court contributions. The on-court production he provided in Game 4 vs. Denver in the Western Conference Finals was an added bonus but also typified the mindset Thompson brought to the team.

For a franchise that has been substandard for large parts of the last two seasons, Thompson’s approach was a welcome sight. If the Lakers are looking to contend next season and focus on bringing back its core next year, Thompson could be a valuable piece of the roster.

How was their season?

Recapping Thompson’s season isn’t going to be too exhaustive. He wasn’t signed until the final day of the regular season, didn’t appear until the team’s eighth game of the postseason and only once played non-garbage minutes.

Those minutes were actually rather impactful in that Game 4 loss, but it all ultimately ended up in a loss all the same. None of his major contributions to the Lakers, though, came on the court, which makes it rather difficult to quantify them.

Should the Lakers bring them back?

While he became a bit of a meme at times, Jared Dudley’s impact on the Lakers was real. He was a veteran voice respected by everyone on the team, including LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

After his departure, the Lakers haven’t really had that type of person consistently in the locker room. That could be the role Thompson takes with the Lakers moving forward.

He spoke in his exit interview about a desire to come back to the Lakers moving forward. He also talked about the excitement he had for what the team was building.

More importantly, he spoke of his openness to take the veteran mentor role. It’s not a role for everyone. Like Dudley before him, Thompson was a great chemistry guy but also was ready to contribute when called upon.

Will he return?

If I had to put money on it, I would say most likely. It only works if the Lakers don’t go after Kyrie Irving and thus need every other roster spot to be a contributor. If they do largely run it back, Thompson is perfectly suited to be an end-of-bench mentor.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Silver Screen & Roll Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Los Angeles Lakers news from Silver Screen & Roll