Central Notes: Thompson, Gilbert, Butler

The Cavs and forward Tristan Thompson have until October 31st to come to terms on a contract extension or Thompson becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer looks at the options for both the player and the team and compares Thompson’s numbers against other forwards who have recently inked new deals.

Here’s the latest out of the Central Division:

  • In an interview with Pluto, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said, “I look at the last four years as a payment for the next four to six years (when the Cavs begin to win again).” The last four seasons sans LeBron James have seen the franchise go a combined 97-215, and Gilbert discussed how difficult those seasons were, how he and James mended fences, as well as his expectations for the future of his franchise.
  • In his Central Division preview, Adi Joseph of USA Today says the division will come down to a battle between the Cavs and the Bulls. Another interesting storyline, according to Joseph,  is how the Pacers will fare without Paul George and Lance Stephenson after capturing the division crown a season ago.
  • With the deadline quickly approaching, Jimmy Butler remains confident that he can work out a contract extension with the Bulls in time, reports Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com. First-round picks like Butler who are heading into their fourth season have until Oct. 31 to come to terms. Butler, who missed Chicago’s final two preseason games with sprained ligaments in his thumb, isn’t worried about the deadline. “I think we’re going to figure it out,” he said. “My main focus is now of all time is to get healthy. If you’re healthy, you’ll get paid anyway. That’s all I’m worried about it.” 

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

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