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Cavs And Tristan Thompson Stalemate Bad For Team Canada

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.



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.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.




Tristan Thompson with superfan MoVernieAre The Raptors Waiting For Tristan Thompson To Come Home?

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




2 thoughts on “Cavs And Tristan Thompson Stalemate Bad For Team Canada

  1. Ken

    With the Cavs above the tax apron (about 88.7 million) they cannot use a sign and trade and receive a player or players back unless the net result of the trade brings them below the tax apron. (per 2011 cba)

    So as much as I would like to see a deal that brings Tristan Thompson to Toronto, the Cavs cannot use this route to trade Tristan assuming they wanted to without first addressing the tax apron restriction. I do believe they can sign Tristan and then trade him after the December 15th and before the trade deadline if they want to avoid the huge luxury tax hit of signing him to a large contract.

    If Tristan takes the qualifying offer (much less) then I believe he has the right to veto any trade.

    So it seems to me Tristan will start the season as a Cav but may become a major trade chip after December 15th. Then the Cavs may be interested in a trade that includes players and possible picks.
    They may be interested in the first round picks the Raptors got from the Knicks or the Clippers (via the Bucks).

    1. Stephen BrotherstonStephen Brotherston Post author

      Fortunately for the Cavs you have the rule incorrect.
      Its the team receiving the S&T player that can’t be above the apron (CBA FAQ 91) scroll down to explanations 1,2 at the end.

      Its likely the Cavs are happy with TT signing the QO & saving the money. They are in win now mode.

      Any player on a 1-yr deal can’t be traded without consent if it affects their bird rights. Also need to check how big TT raise would be but I believe he can’t be traded until Jan 15 if he signs the QO

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