Why did the NBA suspend Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson for 25 games without pay?

It came as a surprising blow to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as their veteran center Tristan Thompson has been slapped with a 25-game suspension without pay for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy.

This unexpected setback will sideline Thompson, the team’s backup center, for two crucial months, significantly impacting the Cavs’ bench depth at a critical point in the season. The suspension comes just as the team has been enjoying recent success, adding frustration to this current situation.

Why did NBA suspend Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson?

Tristan Thompson, who is a pivotal figure in the Cavaliers’ lineup, was found to have violated the NBA’s anti-drug policy. As a result, he will face a 25-game suspension.

The 32-year-old was tested positive for ibutamoren, which is a growth hormone known for its muscle-building properties, and SARM LGD-4033, substances commonly associated with muscle enhancement that are commonly used by bodybuilders and weightlifters.

Both substances are prohibited by the NBA league, reflecting the league’s commitment to maintaining a clean and fair competitive environment for all players and viewers. This suspension will begin with the Cavaliers’ upcoming game against the Milwaukee Bucks

The Cavaliers were already facing a ton of challenges with the absence their key starting players like Darius Garland and Evan Mobley due to injuries, and now the team faces another significant blow to their bench depth with Thompson’s suspension.

The team had recently released a statement expressing their disappointment in the situation and also extending support toward their veteran center. However, the impact of his absence in most of the matches will undoubtedly be felt in the coming months.

However, during the suspension period, Thompson is permitted to travel and practice as well, offering him a chance to still stay connected with the team’s progress despite his absence from official games.

The coming weeks will certainly put the team’s resilience to the test and reveal the extent of the impact on the Cavaliers’ overall performance and their ability to maintain their impressive build-up momentum in the Eastern Conference.

When will Tristan Thompson return from his suspension?

The Cleveland Cavaliers will now have to brace themselves for the 25-game suspension void that is left by their seasoned 32-year-old player, Tristan Thompson. The timing couldn’t be worse, especially with the team beginning to ride high on an 8-game winning streak.

The Cavs are currently sitting with an impressive 26-15 record while holding the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference table, averaging 113.7 points per game this season. However, they are now facing a formidable challenge in maintaining their momentum without Thompson’s contributions.

Thompson’s suspension will officially begin on game day, which will be played against the Milwaukee Bucks, marking the start of a two-month hiatus. However, the main day that everyone is waiting for is March 16, 2024, when Thompson finally becomes eligible to make his return to play against the Houston Rockets.

The Cavaliers are no strangers to challenges this season with injuries to their key player and another added burden on their shoulders without their veteran, Thompson. His return in mid-March will surely inject anticipation into the team’s narrative.

The big man continues to average 3.8 points per game, along with 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, this 2023–2024 regular season, with an impressive 64.9% from the field.

But the major question that stands tall for the moment against the Cavs is, can they maintain their winning streak even with Thompson off the roster?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!


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