The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for their next two preseason games due to a sore left foot, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Haynes also notes that the Cavaliers say they are sitting Thompson only as a precaution.
Entering his sixth season in the league, Thompson has played in all 82 Cavaliers regular-season games in each of the last four seasons. Last season, he averaged 7.8 points and nine rebounds per game while in the first year of a five-year, $82 million dollar contract. He has already missed Wednesday’s preseason opener. Chris Andersen started in his place against the Orlando Magic.
The Cavaliers, who are coming off winning an NBA championship last season, are clearly prioritizing keeping their players healthy. The title was the first in franchise history after 46 seasons in the league. Point guard Kyrie Irving also sat out of the team’s first preseason game.
The team returns essentially the entirety of the core that won the NBA title over the Golden State Warriors, with the only notable exceptions being Timofey Mozgov, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, and J.R. Smith, who remains a free agent but is widely expected to rejoin Cleveland.
The Cavaliers open their 2016-17 campaigns against the New York Knicks on Oct. 25 at home in Quicken Loans Arena. If the estimate that Thompson will only miss two more preseason games is accurate, he will be able to play in three preseason games as a tuneup for the regular season.