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Report: Celtics to sign free agent center Tristan Thompson

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Thompson is reportedly signing a two-year, $19 million deal with Boston

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Per a report from Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes, the Boston Celtics have reached an agreement to sign free agent center Tristan Thompson:

Thompson will join Boston after previously playing the entirety of his nine-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Thompson will sign with the Celtics for the whole of their Non-Taxpayer Midlevel Exception of $9,258,000. Thompson will make $18,978,900 over the life of the two-year deal.

The 29-year-old brings a rugged, big body to the center position for Boston. At 6’9’’ and 254 pounds, Thompson will give the Celtics someone to bang with the bigger opponents in the paint.

Over the course of his career, Thompson has averaged 9.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Many of those seasons were spent playing with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. In recent years, Thompson has taken on a bigger role, averaging a double-double in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.

In addition to his work as a paint scorer, screener and rebounder, Thompson is a good defender. He’s big enough to bang in the post, but also quick enough to hold his own on switches. His defensive versatility should work well in the Celtics switch-heavy scheme.

In Boston, Thompson is expected to split the center minutes with Daniel Theis, who had his contract for the 2020-21 season become fully guaranteed, and Robert Williams III.

The Celtics now have the Bi-Annual Exception of $3,623,000 left to fill out their roster with, should they choose. If Boston uses the BAE this season, it will be unavailable for use during the 2021-22 season.