With a Friday deadline looming, extension talks between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson have stalled out according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. While the two sides still hope to reach a deal this week, it isn't out of the realm of possibility that a deal isn't struck by Friday and Thompson hits the open market next summer as a restricted free agent. According to Windhorst, Thompson is looking for roughly $12 million per year, which would is similar to what Kenneth Faried was recently paid by the Denver Nuggets.
Thompson, who started all 82 games last season, will be the first big off the bench for the Cavaliers this season and will both the four and the five. Last season, his third in the NBA, Thompson averaged 11.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game while having a career best true shooting percentage of 52.8.
The subtext of Thompson's extension talks, of course, is that he is represented by Rich Paul. Paul owns and operates Klutch Sports, which also happens to represent LeBron James. This could perhaps be a gauge of how much James will involve himself in the Cavs' front office. And while Thompson isn't Horace Grant, he does have value on the new-look Cavaliers as a durable big who can rebound, run the floor and play defense. He's also only 23 years old.
It's also worth noting that Thompson's extension talks come at a time when the NBA recently announced a $24 billion dollar media rights deal. The deal will expend league revenues and likely lead to a major bump in the salary cap.
All things considered, it wouldn't be shocking if Thompson isn't signed to an extension by Friday. With more money set to come into the league, it makes a lot of sense that if he and Paul don't like the deal offered, Thompson just decides to wait for restricted free agency next summer in pursuit of the largest contract he can get.