GIF: Tristan Thompson’s One-Handed Alley-Oop Smash

The Cavs were in Memphis last night, and unlike their game against the Bulls earlier in the week when coach David Blatt tried to play a similar rotation to the one he’ll be using in the regular season, LeBron James sat for the entire game, and the players hoping to secure a roster slot the got a lot of run in a 97-92 Grizzlies win. On one play, Tristan Thompson, showed why he’s definitely in Cleveland’s rotation and could command a $11 million a year for his next contract.

On a pick and roll with backup guard Matthew Dellavedova, Thompson rolled to the rim and threw down this insane one-handed jam that seemed to leap off our television screens:

Watch as he reaches back for a lob thrown a bit behind him, grab it with the lone hand to flush the ball through:

Thompson is just 23, and at 6-8 he doesn’t have a traditional centers size, but fits more in the power forward role, though he’ll probably split time at center with Anderson Varejao rather than toil behind Kevin Love at the four.

Regardless of his size, he’s got a motor that never runs out of fuel, and after a switch to his right hand when shooting his free throw percent has improved (he shot a career-high 69 percent from the stripe this past season) as has his mid-range shot. He could be the least appreciated member of the regular Cavs rotation, but — unlike the injury-prove Varejao — he could be the player who energizes this championship-aspiring team when their triumvirate of stars are struggling.

What do you think?

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