Amid the stalemate in the negotiations of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson, the LeBron James team made yet another decision that could potentially spell the departure of the Canadian NBA star from the team. Earlier this week, the Cleveland Cavaliers officially signed Russian basketball star Sasha Kaun into the NBA team. Prior to this announcement, the 6-foot-11 center had been part of the training camp roster of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The official signing of Sasha Kaun was announced by Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin himself. According to the press release, the Russian center spent the past six NBA season with the CSKA Moscow team. His stint in the international team earned him the Russian League champion title five times from 2009 to 2013.
Sasha Kaun was also the VTB United League champ in 2010 and again from 2012 to 2015. As for his stats in the hardwood, the Russian center boasts of 142 game appearances with 94 instances as a starting player. Sasha Kaun's shooting average from the field is recorded at 7.6 points on .702 shooting; while his rebound record shows 3.6 rebounds within 17.9 minutes at every basketball game. His last season prior to entering the NBA saw Sasha Kaun reach a career high of 9.9 points on .691 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, his rebound record saw 4.5 rebounds per 20.1 minutes for each game.
Apart from Sasha Kaun, the Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed D.J. Stephens in the NBA team's training camp this season. Stephens was once awarded as the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. Prior to joining the training camp of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Stephens signed with the New Orleans Pelicans for a non-guaranteed minimum-salary camp deal, according to Hoops Rumors.
With Sasha Kaun in the Cleveland Cavaliers roster, the NBA team now have 13 fully guaranteed contracts. In addition to Stephens, the Cleveland Cavaliers also have a training camp deal with Jerrelle Benimon and a non-guaranteed contract with Jared Cunningham. Quinn Cook is also expected to enter the training camp sometime soon, too.
As for Tristan Thompson, it looks like the future of the restricted free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers is looking bleaker by the day. With the invitation of LeBron James to have his NBA teammates train with him in Miami, the absence of Tristan Thompson speaks volumes of the status of the Canadian basketball star in the team. Due to the reluctance of the Cleveland Cavaliers to agree to the contract requirements of Tristan Thompson, it appears that the star will be leaving the NBA after this season - a decision might also place the future of LeBron James with the group in peril.
According to Rich Paul, the agent of Tristan Thompson and LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers could lose the Canadian NBA star to at least three basketball teams - all willing to give him the max contract he is demanding. One of the most widely speculated NBA team to potentially welcome Tristan Thompson soon is the Toronto Raptors. With that in mind, it looks like LeBron James will have to bid goodbye to his buddy as Tristan Thompson makes his way to his hometown next NBA season.
At the moment, the invitation of LeBron James for the voluntary training camp in Miami has JR Smith, Anderson Varejao, Joe Harris and Mo Williams in attendance. Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert also confirmed to go. Rounding up the Cleveland Cavaliers stars attending the practices with LeBron James are Kyrie Irving, Sasha Kaun, James Jones and Richard Jefferson.