Tristan Thompson doesn't have a contract, but he's still gaining some accolades off the court.
In its yearly player ranking project, NBA Rank, ESPN has pegged Thompson as the 59th best player in the NBA for this upcoming season.
While @cavs fans wait to see if he can reach a contract agreement, @RealTristan13 lands at No. 59 in our #NBArank. pic.twitter.com/FFuEzaxqbm— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 13, 2015
In an ideal role as a deadly pick and roll player and clean up man for shot happy teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, as well as others, Thompson put together a solid 2014-2015 campaign that he punctuated with a playoff performance that saw him as the Cavaliers second or third most important piece in dragging them to the finals without stars Irving and Kevin Love.
Thompson's 9.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and only 2.5 fouls in 37 minutes across his 20 playoff games - 15 of which were starts - have given the Cavs confidence in Thompson as a long term major rotation piece, but it has also left Thompson in a position to demand a higher salary than he normally would command. Thus far they remain at an impasse.
While mostly meaningless, a healthy ranking from outside observers probably can't hurt his chances at the negotiating table, right?