Tristan Thompson Striving for 6th Man of the Year Award Coming Off Cavs Bench

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson is embracing his new role with the team as a sixth man off the bench for head coach Tyronn Lue. 

Per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin, Thompson shared his thoughts after Lue informed him he wouldn't be starting this season:                                   

"I'm going to go for Sixth Man of the Year, put myself in position to do that. Just play hard, though. I'm not going to look too much into it, but if you're going to come off the bench, might as well have a little goal—and I feel like with the second unit we have and the energy that I bring off the bench, I'll put myself in pretty good position. Especially when you win."

Lue informed Thompson of his decision to shake up the Cavs lineup last week, according to McMenamin. 

"Tristan has been a big part of what we do," Lue said. "I hated having that conversation, but it was great."

With Thompson being utilized as a sixth man in Cleveland, Kevin Love will be the team's starting center when the 2017-18 season begins Oct. 17 against the Boston Celtics. The four-time All-Star began his career as a center with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09 before moving to power forward. 

Thompson has come off the bench at different points in his career, including 115 games during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.