The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to explore all options this coming NBA offseason. That includes weeding out the players who can be let go. And this early, Tristan Thompson is looming as one of them.

Once seen as a low-key but promising player, the 28-year-old center-forward has hardly shown that he deserves every penny of that ridiculous $82 million contract spread over five years. Back in 2015, Thompson was holding out for a max contract even if pundits seemed divided on whether he deserved one. But thanks to Rich Paul, the same agent of LeBron James, Canadian got his wish, ESPN reported.

Thompson has shown what he can do the past years although that nothing really stood out. With the Cavs now on rebuild mode, they only have to wait one more season before reconvening on whether Thompson deserves another deal. This early, it may not happen.

In fact, some critics believe that Cleveland could do well by trading away Thompson and not waiting until next NBA season. He has hardly proven himself as an asset, especially since the departure of James and his playing time has deprived other big men in the mix. With budding stars like Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic, the Cavs could opt to focus on the rising young stars and use the salary space of Thompson on perhaps one or a couple of stars with potential, Cavaliers Nation reported.

The only positive thing out of Thompson is that he is a veteran. But if the Cavs are looking for production and someone the young players can look up to with respect, such leaves a big question mark. Thompson’s marketability is in question right now, meaning his current contract may not be appealing to teams. Then again, there are ballclubs who would take the risk on Thompson – more of a high-risk gamble to see if he can contribute to their cause.

Seeing how he has the same agent as James, Thompson could be considered by the Los Angeles Lakers to beef up the frontline. It is a position that the Lakers tried to fill up last season but the team went with veterans JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler. Thompson is younger and teaming up with James needs no further deliberation.

Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before Game Six of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on May 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images/Jason Miller

With Thompson frequently on the injured list, it may be wise for the Cavs to dangle him to other teams. There will be takers but the better question is what will Cleveland get in return.