Cavaliers position preview: Center

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With the start of training camp only a few weeks away the Cavaliers currently have three centers on their roster.  WIll they add another via trade or free agency or roll with what they have?  Let’s take a look at the current center situation.

Tristan Thompson

Thompson starts his 7th season with the Cavaliers as their starting center.  Last season with Cleveland he averaged 8.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.  He shot a career high 60% from the field but a career low 50% from the free throw line.  While not a strong rim protector, Thompson is a solid post defender and an aggressive rebounder. He keeps many offensive possessions alive with his tenacity going after the ball on the boards.  Thompson should continue to flourish in the starting lineup along side Lebron James.

Ante Zizic

Zizic was acquired by the Cavaliers from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade.  He was the 23rd pick in the 2016 NBA draft by the Celtics.  Zizic was named the 2015/2016 Adriatic Basketball Association’s top prospect after averaging 12.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.  Last season he averaged 9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game with Darussafaka of the Euroleague playing for former Cavs coach David Blatt.  Zizic is an aggressive and physical player defensively in the post with a developing offensive game. He will have an opportunity to earn backup center minutes this season.

Edy Tavares

Tavares was signed by the Cavaliers at the end of the 2016/2017 regular season.  He appeared in the season finale against the Hawks tallying 6 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocked shots in 24 minutes.  The 7’3″ Tavares is a physical presence on the defensive end with his 8′ wingspan.  He did not start playing basketball until he was 17 so he is still a work in progress.  Tavares is on a non-guaranteed contract and with the addition of Zizic his roster spot could be in jeopardy.  He could be an option for the Cavs second two-way contract.

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