In the not really news category, Tristan Thompson and the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been able to come to an agreement on an extension for next season. Now Thompson can afford to bet on himself again this summer and sign an even better deal as an unrestricted free agent next year and the Cavs will save about $30 million in luxury tax if Thompson takes the qualifying offer, but this is really bad news for Team Canada as they need their best power forward to help them win at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament later this summer.
This stalemate has gone on for over a month now as Thompson believes he has earned a max contract based on his play last year and the Cavs are holding out for a presumed lower five-year $80 million figure. But maybe both sides have good reasons for wanting to never agree. Thompson would become the most expensive free agent backup ever signed – Kevin Love will be the starter and just maybe Thompson would be happier somewhere else where he doesn’t have to play in someone’s shadow for the next five years.
Team Canada will be the big loser in all of this as it is completely unreasonable to expect Thompson to risk injury playing (free) international basketball prior to securing his first big NBA contract. He will be looking at $70-80 million over four years if he signs with another team next July.
As I mentioned a month ago. Might be the best for Tristan Thompson is to bet against himself. It’s a gamble but QO might be the best option.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 10, 2015
Tristan Thompson agent tells Sportsnet he will not play in this months FIBA Americas and will sign a 1 yr qualifying deal w/Cavs #CdnBallers
— Hoops Hype Canada (@HoopsHypeCA) August 10, 2015
— Sportsnet590 The FAN (@FAN590) August 10, 2015
Tristan Thompson signing QO w/ #Cavs hasn’t been decided yet, I’m told. But if he signs it, told it would be last season he plays as a Cav.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 10, 2015
If Thompson wants out of Cleveland, his only real option is to be willing to sign the qualifying offer. Signing a four-year offer sheet with another team would be doing the Cavs a favor as they would simply just match it. As an unrestricted free agent next summer, Thompson could sign anywhere – say back home in Toronto where a year ago last July he stood in the crowd outside the Air Canada Centre to watch Game Seven against the Nets with the fans. Anyone who thinks the Raptors aren’t salivating about the possibility of picking up Thompson in free agency simply hasn’t been paying attention. This local kid is precisely the type of player who would thrive under Head Coach Dwane Casey.
Maybe it’s time to warm up some earlier speculation that the best move for the Cavs this summer would be a sign and trade with Toronto. If the Cavs GM David Griffin could extract Jonas Valanciunas and Patrick Patterson from the Raptors in return for Thompson, he’d have a huge win on his hands instead of a potential mess and nothing in return next July. Pick up the phone Griffin, the other side is motivated.
A local boy — he was born and raised in the Toronto suburb of Brampton — Thompson had grown up as a Raptors fan. Now Thompson is a restricted free agent and the Cavs are having a hard time signing him to an extension. Could it be because Thompson harbors a desire, like LeBron James, to come home? By Michael Hobson