Tristan Thompson doesn’t regret his long holdout that stretched through the summer and almost to the start of the regular season, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The standoff ended Thursday when the fifth-year power forward signed a five-year, $82MM contract, making him the NBA’s highest-paid reserve. Haynes notes that negotiations began in October of 2014, when Thompson and his agents, Rich Paul and Mark Termini, turned down a four-year, $50MM extension offer. “If you asked if I would do it again, I’ll tell you I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Thompson said. “Business is business and I believed in my guys Rich and Mark and myself and that’s what I did.”
There’s more from Cleveland this morning:
- Kevin Love tells Terry Pluto of The Plain-Dealer that he re-signed with the Cavaliers because they gave him the three things he wanted most: happiness, winning and ultimately, a max contract. Love agreed to a five-year, $113MM deal at the earliest possible moment, right after midnight on July 1st. “That’s why playing in Cleveland is a no-brainer,” he said. “Being here, you compete for a championship each year. It’s why I came here in the first place. We’re very talented. That’s a big thing for me and for how I now look at the game.”
- Cleveland is hoping the offseason additions of Richard Jefferson and Mo Williams will cut down the playing time of its stars, writes Michael Beaven of The Akron Beacon-Journal. The veteran depth already appears to be important, as Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert are injured to start the season. In addition, Love is returning from surgery, as are Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varejao. “It was a point in my career where backing up LeBron, playing that 3 spot is ideal,” Jefferson said. “The man plays 40 minutes a night so if I can go out there and give 10 to 12 minutes [a game] over the course of the season it is an opportunity for me to stay healthy and play at a higher level. I believe this is one of the best chances I had at playing for a contender.”
- Keeping Jared Cunningham on their roster will cost the Cavaliers just $947,276 in salary, but possibly $3,759,961 in luxury tax, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. However, the luxury tax figure only applies if Cunningham is on the roster through the end of the season.