The future of Tristan Thompson with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains unknown as the NBA star refuses to back down on his demands and the LeBron James team appear to be finding it difficult to give in and keeping to the budget at the same time. The NBA offseason marked the beginning of the negotiations between both parties and up until today, no resolution seems to be in the horizon.
"Thompson and the Cavaliers had reached an agreement early in free agency that was believed to have been centered on a five-year deal worth some $80 million," reported Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. He went on to say, "The problem with doing a deal at that number is that virtually everyone in Thompson's talent range got substantially more, most receiving the NBA maximum salary, some for less years, but most for the same year one dollar amount."
Kyler further shared, "Thompson's camp pulled back from the $80 million number, wanting the Cavs to step up with more based on what virtually everyone else in Thompson's peer range got." A number of sources reportedly close to the matter confirmed the report, claiming that Tristan Thompson wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to give him the same contract as that offered to the other NBA star he deems to be his equal. Judging from the amount of cash LeBron James' buddy wants from the Cleveland Cavaliers, a couple of NBA stars' names come to mind when speculating who Tristan Thompson believes are his equals.
DeAndre Jordan got the max deal of $88 million for a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers; while Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies took home $110 million for a five-year deal with the NBA team. As for NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs agreed to a four-year deal with the NBA star worth $80 million. The reigning NBA title holders, the Golden State Warriors, also offered a max contract to Draymond Green - a five-year deal worth $85 million. Even Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA star Tristan Thompson subbed for in the past NBA season, got a max contract of $110 million spanning to the next five years.
While the abilities of Tristan Thompson compared with the abovementioned NBA stars could be a topic of a highly heated debate, one thing remains certain: the Cleveland Cavaliers star has leverage. With the salary cap increase about to take effect next summer, the idea of Tristan Thompson leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers will put the NBA team in a difficult position in terms of landing a players as good as the Canadian star - not to mention the more expensive contracts the increase will bring. Apart from the issue of budget, Tristan Thompson has yet another major thing going for him: the approval and endorsement of none other than LeBron James.
"Our No. 1 objective right now is to sign Tristan," said LeBron James in an earlier interview at Cedar Point amusement park, according to ESPN. The Cleveland Cavaliers star added, "He's a huge part of our team. Short term and long term he makes our team more dangerous."