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Tristan Thompson Trade Rumors: Rockets Did 'Due Diligence,' Couldn't Make Deal

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Denver. The Cavaliers won 111-103. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets reportedly did their "due diligence" in an effort to acquire Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson before Thursday's 2020 NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET but couldn't get a deal done.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported the update and noted a "buyout is not an option" for Thompson if he stays with the Cavs beyond the deadline.

The 28-year-old University of Texas product, who helped Cleveland capture the first championship in franchise history in 2016, is one of the most notable names on the trade market.

He's averaging career highs in points (11.9) and rebounds (10.4) this season, and he's 14th in the NBA with 22 double-doubles.

Thompson was asked in December about the potential of being traded with the Cavaliers lagging near the bottom of the NBA standings. Their current 13-39 record is the league's second-worst mark.

"Take it one game at a time," Thompson told reporters. "Keep the main goal the main goal, which is to come out and compete with my guys and be ready to go to war."

He added: "It's the business of basketball."

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Meanwhile, the Rockets are seeking frontcourt depth after they traded starting center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a four-team deal that netted them Robert Covington and Jordan Bell.

Although Houston has succeeded with extreme small-ball lineups recently, with the 6'5" P.J. Tucker playing center, it will probably want another true center on the roster before the playoffs for matchup versatility.

It doesn't sound like Thompson is going to fill that void, however. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reported the Cavs are seeking a first-round pick in any deal.

The Rockets may wait until after the deadline to see which centers end up on the buyout market, which is a prime avenue for contenders to bolster their roster late in the season.

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