Tristan Thompson and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been at an impasse all summer. With the Canadian big man coming off his best season as a pro in his age 23 season, and few ways to improve the roster moving forward, it seemed as though Thompson was heading towards a big payday. It helped that he was friends with LeBron James and shares an agent.
But for the most part, things have been incredibly quiet. Until Thursday night, when Chris Broussard of ESPN not only reported that a deal was in place, but that there were specific numbers on the table.
NBA SOURCES CONFIRM AGENT RICH PAUL WILL HAVE TRISTAN THOMPSON SIGN A 3 YEAR - $53 MILLION CONTRACT WITH CAVS.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) September 24, 2015
Now, there are a lot of things to say about a deal like that. The question is, is it real? Alas, perhaps not.
I've been told reports of extension for Tristan Thompson inaccurate. No deal struck, nor do #Cavs seem interested in reported 3/$53 million— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) September 24, 2015
I don't love the numbers of that deal. It would mean the Cavs pay Thompson big money this year, and thus pay the huge luxury tax numbers. That's fine if Dan Gilbert is willing to swallow that pill and the Cavs get long term security of having Thompson in a Cavs jersey. If it's just two years that Thompson gets that money under the new salary cap environment? That gets pretty expensive.
I think Thompson is essential, and I think a deal gets done. I hope there's a better deal out there.