According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, the sophomore was not happy when Thompson and the franchise could not agree on a deal in the offseason.
“I thought there was going to be a chance of him staying,” Garland said. “We all had a lot of hope. I had my fingers crossed. I knew he was coming up on free agency with his expiring contract. He used to always talk about how he wanted to stay in Cleveland and how he wanted to finish out his career here. I wish he would have. I wish he could have. But it’s a business. I was kind of hurt, but then I talked to him and he was like, ‘Little bro, this is the business of the game and I wish I could help you and be here while you grow into the great player you will be.’”
Thompson, 29, joined the Boston Celtics in free agency.
The No. 4 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft played in Cleveland his whole career before departing for Boston. He served as a powerful force in the paint during the the Cavs’ competitive stints and mentor to the franchise’s base of youngsters in the last few years of the rebuild.
The big man’s contributions were crucial in helping the Cavs reach four consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018. He aided the Cavs in winning a championship in 2016.
As for Garland, the 2019 NBA lottery pick found a big brother in Thompson during his uneven first season in the league. Garland put up just 12.3 points and 3.9 assists per contest last season.
Now, the youngster is collecting 16.3 points, 5.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game this season.
The Cavs and Celtics battle one another on Sunday.