Tristan Thompson continues to hold out for a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers set to begin training camp on Tuesday at the teams training facility, Cleveland Clinic Courts, in Independence, Ohio. Thompson, who helped the Cavaliers win the eastern conference championship last season, is hoping to get a maximum contract from the Cavaliers.
With no deal in place between Thompson, his agent Rich Paul and Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, Thompson was a no show at the team’s media day on Monday. The Cavaliers placed a tender offer of $6.9 million on Thompson before free agency began back in July. With Thompson being a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers can match any offer Thompson agrees to with another team. The Cavaliers have also had a five year contract worth $80 million on the table since the start of free agency. Thompson has not signed either offer.
Thompson and Paul hoped to get a maximum contract of five years and $94 million dollars, but the Cavaliers have not moved past it’s original offer of the five years at $80 million. Over the past few days, reports came out that Thompson was willing to agree to a three year deal worth $53 million. If any of those offers are not agreed to, Thompson has until this Thursday to sign the one year tender offer. It remains a mystery whether or not Thompson will finally sign a new deal and get into training camp any time soon.
“We love Tristan Thompson and we want him as part of our future moving forward,” Griffin said during Cavaliers media day on Monday. “I think everything in our action and out offer indicate that.”
It’s still a surprise to many that Thompson is still unsigned. With the majority of last years NBA Finals team back and the additions of veterans like Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson, the Cavaliers are one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship this season. At the beginning of free agency it appeared that a deal with Thompson was all but done for five years and $80 million. Also consider the fact that Thompson has the same agent as LeBron James and a new deal got done with him pretty fast during free agency. James wants Thompson to be a Cavalier for life but even he won’t get involved in the negotiations between Thompson, Paul and the franchise.
“I understand how important Tristan is to our team,” James said during Cavaliers media day on Monday. “We all saw what he is able to do last year in the postseason and all year round to help us be successful.”
Even with Thompson still away from the Cavaliers and unsigned, the organization remains positive a deal will get done in the not to distant future.
“I’m very optimistic that something will be done by both sides long term,” James said. “I love Tristan, I think we all love Tristan and what he is capable of doing for our team. He’s a huge piece to the puzzle, to our success.”
“We also believe strongly that Tristan loves this team and he loves competing with these guys,” Griffin said. “We think everything in his actions to this point have demonstrated the same. We’re excited about moving forward with him into the future in whatever form that may take. Again, I think we feel really good about where this is because it’s who Tristan is and because of the competitor he is and the relationship he has with this team.”
With Thompson still unsigned, this is the second year in a row a client of Paul’s missed the start of a NBA training camp. Last year, Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns held out because of a contract issue. Thompson was the number four overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by Cleveland out of the University of Texas.