After months of the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to re-sign Tristan Thompson, it’s believed they may have withdrawn their five-year, $80 million offer.
Tristan Thompson is more driven to earn a max contract than most players are to win a NBA championship. For months, the Cleveland Cavaliers have tried (and failed) to re-sign their hustling power forward to a new contract. Now that the deadline to sign his qualifying offer has expired, it seems that the Cavaliers may have finally had enough.
As Larry Coon told Basketball Insiders, he believes that as the time for the Cavs to try and maintain their generous offer expired, they might have pulled their five-year, $80 million offer to Thompson:
"“One assumption I think we’re safe making is that if there was a big offer sheet waiting for him, he would have signed it by now. The Cavs were under no obligation to leave their $80 million offer on the table, and from what I heard, pulled it as soon as Thompson’s qualifying offer expired. I heard it was Mark Termini doing the actual negotiating, and he has a reputation for taking a really hard stance in negotiations, but I think he seriously miscalculated this one. Maybe he was thinking LeBron [James] would be more of an influence on the team.”"
Coon’s comments make perfect sense. If there was such a big offer on the table that Thompson had any interest of signing, he’d have done so already. Furthermore, they really aren’t obliged to keep that offer sitting there as Thompson continues to hold-off and show his desire to make some extra cash.
He’s kept the Cavaliers waiting long enough, so a hard approach to end the way Thompson has been overvaluing himself for so long is entirely appropriate.
However, even though Thompson only started 15 regular season games for the Cavaliers last season and only stepped up in the playoffs because of Kevin Love’s shoulder injury, he is still a valuable player to Cleveland.
He averaged 11.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per 36 minutes, which gives the Cavaliers another workhorse big man to compliment Love and Anderson Varejao. He plays hard and does all the little things, and even though he’s not a strong rim protector and has extremely limited range on offense, he still provides rebounding and toughness. Which, for a team aiming for nothing less than a championship this season, is a vital attribute to have off the bench.
That gritty nature and defensive attributes aside, though, he’s not worth a max contract by any means. There should be no discussion to that whatsoever.
We’ll have to just wait and see how this situation plays out next summer if he looks to leave the Cavaliers once and for all.