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Three 2016 Max Offers Await Tristan Thompson?

Agent Rich Paul has heard from three teams that are willing to offer a maximum-salary contract to Tristan Thompson next summer if he hits unrestricted free agency, sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). Paul reportedly believes he can get a max deal from the Raptors for Thompson, a Toronto native, but it’s unclear if they are one of the three. The Trail Blazers and Sixers are the only teams capable of coming close to what the Cavs have offered this year, so Cleveland would appear to be largely in control of Thompson’s fate for the coming season.  However, Paul has said that Thompson, who’s lingered in restricted free agency since July 1st, wouldn’t re-sign with the Cavs next summer if he were to sign his one-year qualifying offer of nearly $6.778MM, which is on the table from the Cavs until the end of this month.

The Cavs and Thompson’s camp have had little communication, if any, of late amid a separation of some $14MM in their respective proposals, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer told us last week. Thompson is looking for a five-year max deal, which would be worth $94,343,129, and the Cavs have offered $80MM over five years.

The value of Thompson’s qualifying offer is nearly $10MM less than what he would make on the starting salary of a max deal, but the power forward could nonetheless benefit financially from taking the qualifying offer if max offers from other teams are indeed waiting for him next year. Max salaries go up in accordance with the salary cap, and with the cap set to spike for 2016/17, next summer’s projected maximum for a player with Thompson’s experience is $20.4MM. With 4.5% raises over a four-year contract, the best terms he could get if he doesn’t re-sign with Cleveland, a max deal with a new team next summer would be worth a total of $87.108MM, based on that $20.4MM starting salary projection. Combined with the qualifying offer, Thompson would make almost as much going that route as he would signing a five-year max with Cleveland this year.

Of course, much can change between now and next July, and teams currently willing to pay the max have the right to change their minds based on Thompson’s performance this season as well as their own financial circumstances. Interest at the level of salaries exceeding $20MM seem tenuous at best for a player who came off the bench for most of this past season and scored only 8.5 points per game, despite his pedigree as the No. 4 overall pick in 2011. The Cavs have Kevin Love and Timofey Mozgov at the inside positions, so Thompson would seemingly be in line for a return to the bench after he started in place of an injured Love during the postseason.

Do you think teams will be willing to offer Tristan Thompson the max next summer? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Three 2016 Max Offers Await Tristan Thompson?

  1. Dave R

    Rich Paul still trying to show he has leverage that he doesn’t have? Stick to your guns Cavs. TT, you really want to leave LeBron to play for the Raptors? and Toronto, do you really wanna pay 20 Million a year for a great hustle player? Rich Paul is on crack.

  2. roy p

    I agree. Rich Paul is also trying to flex his little muscles with the Houston Rockets,my home team. Montrezl harrell has yet to sign with the rockets, Rich Paul’s trying to get first round money for a second round player. Its not the rockets fault he fell to the second round. Besides other than LeBron James Rich Pauls stable of athletes are all bench or role players.

  3. mcs11795

    20 million per year for a guy who averages 10 points and 8.5 rebounds per game ij his career. That is a joke for any rebounder defender hustle player who can’t score unless your name is HOFer Dennis Rodman

  4. TT still has to have another breakout season for the teams foolish enough in thinking he deserves the max, to actually follow through with a contract offer. If Love stays healthy and if Kaun is successfully wedged into the rotation, TT’s minutes will get cut. TT was a started before LeBron came back, and while a hustle guy who has improved, he is nowhere near a franchise changer deserving of the max. So, teams would be wize to sit on their big long term money for a bit and wait for a better quality free agent market.

  5. James

    Really, he can’t take 80 million for five years? Well maybe of he could actually dribble and create his own shot then he may have an argument, but he can’t and him and Paul should think about that for two minutes!

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