Tristan Thompson had a really solid season for the Cavs, and a breakout run during the NBA playoffs.
The plan was for Thompson to re-sign with the Cavs — mostly because he and LeBron James share the same agent. Thompson is proving that he’s no puppet, rejecting a previously agreed upon $80 million deal with Cleveland, over five-years.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders says Thompson’s change of heart was spurred on by the huge deals some of his peers received in free agency ahead of him.
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. 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.
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.
Thompson has all of the leverage in negotiations with Cleveland. The energetic power forward could decide to sign his $6.777 million Qualifying Offer and play out the season and become unrestricted next year.
He’d definitely get close to the max deal he’s currently seeking.