Jason Thompson has played for five different head coaches, played with 65 different teammates and gone through two different relocation attempts. It’s safe to say that the veteran forward has seen it all in his six NBA seasons.
With exception of experiencing a trade.
The 27-year-old forward was not dealt before the league’s annual trade deadline today and will finish his sixth-straight season as a member of the Kings. Prior to Thursday’s deadline at 12 PM PT, rumors circulated around a potential deal involving Thompson and Jarrett Jack of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the hearsay, the veteran power forward claimed this latest deadline wasn’t as nerve wracking for him as it might have been in the past.
“I think when you’ve been in the league four-plus years and it hasn’t gone the way you wanted to team-wise and things like that, then you’re just like any other person trying to look at trades, to see if your names in things,” Thompson said following Kings practice on Thursday. “I don’t think I was too worried. It wasn’t like I wasn’t getting any sleep or anything like that.”
Though Thompson’s name came up in trade rumors ahead of Thursday, he was appreciative of how new general manager Pete D’Alessandro handled all the conjecture surrounding this year’s deadline. The veteran forward acknowledged D’Alessandro’s willingness to be transparent with all the players on the roster.
“You need a GM where he lets you know how it is and there’s no surprises or stuff like that,” Thompson said. “So, if there was anything – guys would know it. Obviously, they wouldn’t tell you guys (the media) ahead of time. But he’s letting guys know (about) whoever’s been traded since he’s been here.”
Having the trade deadline pass is one less concern Thompson and his fellow teammates have to worry about. However, Thompson may have some new obstacles to overcome as the Kings’ 2013-14 season comes to an end. D’Alessandro and Kings head coach Michael Malone have stressed that the remainder of the year will be about evaluating specific talent and developing their younger players. That could mean someone like Thompson faces the risk of losing minutes to teammates like Carl Landry, who is still working his way back to health after missing most of the season following hip surgery in October.
“We have a crowded front court right now obviously with having Jason, DeMarcus (Cousins), Carl, Quincy (Acy), Aaron (Gray) and Reggie (Evans),” Malone said following practice Thursday afternoon. “So I won’t be able to play all those guys, so we’ll see what’s best for our team moving forward.”
Whatever the case may be, Thompson is ascribing to an old saying he’s often brought up in times of stress and uncertainty: controlling the things that he can control in the final 28 games of the season.
“With the other scenario like you said, that’s up to coach,” the 27-year-old forward said. “I don’t get paid to do that. When it comes to that, you just play your game and see what happens from there.”