The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract on Thursday, and according to multiple reports, Thompson also did not pick up his qualifying offer worth $6.8 million.
Tristan Thompson failed to pick up the Cavs' $6.8 million qualifying offer by the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline per league source.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 2, 2015
Tristan Thompson did not sign qualifying offer, per source with knowledge, which has now expired. Standoff continues— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) October 2, 2015
The immediate impact of this is that Thompson is now in a no-man's land of sorts. He can no longer sign the qualifying offer and, unless the Cavs sign him to a one-year deal or he signs an offer sheet that the Cavs choose not to match, he will be a Cavalier for at least two more seasons
The next move for Thompson is unclear. He now can either sit out, sign an offer sheet with another team or re-sign with the Cavs. Where Thompson to sit out, he in theory could sit out all season and become a restricted free agent again next summer. He also wouldn't be the first Cavalier to hold out at the start of the season, as Anderson Varejao held out until December of the 2007-08 season as a restricted free agent. Varejao ultimately returned to the Cavs after signing an offer sheet with the then Charlotte Bobcats. The Cavs matched the offer sheet a day after Varejao signed it.
For the Cavs, this isn't the best news. While they now hold almost all of the leverage in negotiations with Thompson - remember, Thompson's agent Rich Paul said that this would be Thompson's last year in Cleveland if he signed the qualifying offer - you think they'd like to have everyone in camp as soon as possible. This also likely kills any chance of Thompson being at camp on Friday, which Cavs GM David Griffin said he expected to happen on Thursday.