Instead of taking it as a setback, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson sees his new role with the team as a challenge and an opportunity to bring his career to another level. Earlier, Thompson was informed by the Cavaliers coaching staff that he will be relegated to the bench as backup center, behind Kevin Love, who will start this season as the man in the middle for Cleveland.

Dave McMenanim reported that Thompson said his new role puts him in a position to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award. “I'm not going to look too much into it, but if you're going to come off the bench, might as well have a little goal,” said Thompson.

Despite a change in role, Thompson assured us that he will be playing as hard even coming off the bench and provide the second unit with the energy to help the Cavaliers win.

Thompson accepted decision well

According to McMenamin, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue informed Thompson about the decision to move him to the bench. Lue said Thompson accepted the decision well. Coming off the bench will not be a problem for Thompson, as he was a reserve for 115 games during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons with the Cavaliers.

In 2014-15 season, Thompson started just 15 of 82 games, averaging 8.5 points and 8.0 boards in 26.8 minutes of play. Thompson’s numbers considerably dropped compared to the 2013-14 season where he started all 82 games and averaged 11.7 points and 9.2 boards.

During the 2015-16 season, he started 35 of 82 games, averaging 7.8 points and 9.0 boards. Last season, Thompson regained his starting role. In 78 starts, he averaged 8.1 points and 9.2 boards in 29.9 minutes of action. The Cavaliers consider Thompson as a vital cog, even rejecting the New York Knicks offer to trade Anthony for the center recently.

Cavaliers to waive veteran

According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic and Sam Amico of, the Cavaliers will have no choice but to part ways with veteran Richard Jefferson when the time to trim the roster to 15 comes. The Cavaliers brought back Jefferson via a one-year deal worth $2.5 million this season but the team might cut him if they won’t find any taker for the 37-year-old veteran via trade.

Cutting Jefferson will save the Cavaliers $10.5 million in luxury tax bill. With their depth in small forward position, Jefferson became the odd man out for the Cavaliers. A 16-year veteran, Jefferson played the last two seasons with the Cavaliers where he became a valuable reserve, especially on defense. Last season, he averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 boards in 79 games.