Cleveland Cavaliers Rumors: Tristan Thompson Still Unsigned As NBA Preseason Begins

Cleveland Cavaliers rumors report forward Tristan Thompson still doesn’t have a new contract. The Cavaliers and Thompson have been negotiating a new deal through most of the NBA offseason, but as of Monday, September 28, the two sides still have not agreed to terms on an extension. A report from ESPN.com states that the Cavs have offered as much as $16 million in average salary in a new deal, but that Thompson and his agent have asked for more than that.

Thompson wants either a max deal, worth $94 million over five years, or a three-year, $53 million contract at minimum. It would appear, at least on the surface, that the two sides aren’t that far apart in negotiations. With no agreement in place yet, the countdown has begun to a point where Thompson could become an unrestricted free agent during the 2016 NBA offseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers rumors have the team payroll at just under $95 million for the 2015-16 NBA season. This includes an estimated qualifying offer of about $7.1 million for Tristan Thompson. Other sources have stated that the offer is closer to about $6.9 million. Either way, it would be a one-year deal, only carrying Thompson over until the next free agency period. At that point, he would be free to negotiate a new contract with any team in the league.

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Cavs general manager David Griffin spoke about Thompson, noting how much the franchise wants to keep him on the court in Cleveland. Griffin also avoided making any negative comments about a player that could end up walking away from the negotiation table.

“We love Tristan Thompson and we want him to be part of our future. I think everything in our actions and our offer indicate that… We’re excited about moving forward with him into the future in whatever form that may take. There’s nothing lost by what Tristan is doing in this process. This is his right to do this. This system works for a reason.”

After playing the past four seasons in Cleveland, Thompson has certainly become a big part of the organization. Earlier in the offseason, it was also noted during Cleveland Cavaliers rumors that LeBron James only wanted to come back if Thompson was offered a contract extension. James still ended up signing a two-year contract with a player option for the second year, despite Thompson not having a new deal in place yet. This doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping a very close eye on the situation after the front office declared that re-signing Thompson was a top priority.

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Over four seasons with the Cavs, Thompson has averaged 10.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and about a block per game. He had started every game during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 NBA seasons, but agreed to take on a reserve role last year. The arrival of Kevin Love dictated that Thompson take a step back, where he became an extremely valuable part of the second unit.

During the 2015 NBA Playoffs, Thompson averaged 9.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. He was on the court 36.4 minutes a game during the playoffs, starting 15 of the 20 games that the Cavaliers played. Thompson quickly proved that he was an extremely valuable piece of the team that had to be re-signed during the offseason.

It is very clear that if Tristan Thompson hits free agency next year, a team is going to offer him a maximum contract. This is where it becomes tricky for the front office in Cleveland, because the team wants to lock him up to a new deal, but not go too far into the luxury tax penalties. No matter what, these Cleveland Cavaliers rumors and a Thompson deal have to be addressed by a deadline on Thursday, September 31.

[Image Sources: Jason Miller, Gregory Shamus / Getty Images]

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