Desmond Thompson earns Finals MVP honors after being traded in Week 2
Desmond Thompson’s debut UH season got off to a wild start in Roseville.
He was drafted by the Clippers as the first-overall pick, putting a lot of pressure onto Thompson to come into the league and dominate right away. That didn’t happen, as he averaged 11 points on 18.5 shots in his first two UH games. Unsurprisingly, the Clippers started 0-2.
This got Thompson traded to the Bulls, where things turned around. Thompson averaged 23 points and eight rebounds in four regular season games, going 2-2. The Bulls went into the playoffs with a 4-4 record, not expected to make a deep run.
Thompson remained consistent in the Bulls’ three-game run to the championship game, as he once again averaged 23 points on his way to the Finals MVP. The Bulls got by the Hornets 79-77 to set up a semifinal matchup against the Clippers, the team that traded Thompson after only two weeks. He would get his revenge, scoring 24 points and tying his season-high of 13 rebounds in a 74-61 win.
That set up a championship matchup against the Royals, who made it despite going 1-7 in the regular season. The Bulls easily proved to be the better team, as they won 74-46. Thompson had one of his best performances of the season, putting up 27 points on 10-16 shooting to win the title.
Here’s a final look at Thompson’s averages with both teams this season:
Clippers: 11/9.5/1.5 with shooting splits of 24/17/0
Bulls: 23/7.3/1.6 with shooting splits of 46/32/54
I’d imagine the Clippers regret their hasty decision, especially considering Thompson was a big reason why the Clippers got knocked out in the semifinals. It may have taken a whole season, but Thompson eventually proved he was worthy of being taken with the number-one overall pick.