Tristan Thompson Reportedly Plans to Sign with the Chicago Bulls

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Center Tristan Thompson Reportedly Plans to Sign with the Chicago Bulls … After He’s Waived by the Pacers (Updates)

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have their backup big man. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Indiana Pacers will waive big man Tristan Thompson. The veteran center plans to then sign with the Chicago Bulls after he clears waivers.


The Pacers acquired Thompson at this season’s trade deadline from the Sacramento Kings in a deal centered around All-Star center Domantas Sabonis. As one of the more experienced bigs on the midseason market, Thompson didn’t feel long for the rebuilding organization. And, thanks to the Bulls obvious need for frontcourt depth/size, Chicago has also long been identified as a possible landing spot.

Here is a snippet from our recent buyout post where we named Thompson a top candidate for the Bulls:

Thompson is an 11-year vet with 83 playoff games under his belt. He’s averaged 8.5 rebounds per game over his career, including 3.4 offensive rebounds. He may not be the most stout rim-protector, but he’d provide the kind of experience size down low that this team lacks behind guard Nikola Vucevic. In a dirty work role off the bench, Thompson has the potential to be a truly impactful addition.

All things considered, when we’re talking a February pickup, Thompson feels like a pretty significant addition. He has the potential to fill a major hole on this roster behind Nikola Vucevic while also providing some always-needed playoff experience. Anyway, can talk way more about his fit once the deal actually goes down.

The question now is who will the Bulls waive to make room for the big man? My guess could be that we see Alfonzo McKinnie get the boot, especially since he has only seen the floor three times since January 24th despite all of the Bulls’ injuries. The other name to watch could be Matt Thomas. While I wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs around since the Bulls seem to covet his 3-point shooting ability, he has struggled in almost every other facet of the game, particularly on the defensive end where he is often singled out by the opposing team.

By the way, while I was typing up this post, Rick Carlisle effectively confirmed Charania’s news by implying the same deal, himself, which I find incredibly odd. Like … are we sure this is allowed? I feel like there is a world where the Bulls could get in trouble with it being this known, but I also could be missing something. We’ll keep an eye on all of it.

UPDATE (Michael): No surprise here. Donovan likely knows that saying nothing right now is going to be better, regardless of the timeline of events (remember, the Bulls front office already had one tampering investigation in the last year).

UPDATE II (Michael): Well. So much for the Bulls staying off the record. LOL. The King of the Fourth, DeMar DeRozan, just dropped some commentary on the Bulls reportedly impending addition of Tristan Thompson.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.