Neither side seems to have a sense of urgency to resolve the Tristan Thompson holdout, writes Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It has been more than two weeks since Thompson let the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer expire, and Haynes reports that there is no ongoing communication between the team and Thompson’s agents, Rich Paul and Mark Termini. The columnist says team members have talked about how difficult a championship run would be without Thompson, and LeBron James has contacted the young forward frequently throughout the contract impasse.
Haynes notes that Thompson’s best option may be to sit out the entire season. Although he would remain a restricted free agent, he would likely see better offers next summer with the expected rise in the NBA’s salary cap.
Haynes writes that the Cavs’ offer of five years in the neighborhood of $80MM remains on the table, despite a recent rumor that the deal has been pulled. However, Thompson and his representatives are holding out for a max contract, either for five or three years.
There’s more this afternoon from Cleveland:
- James may miss the rest of the preseason after receiving an injection in his back, according to Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. James sat out two weeks in January after getting a similar anti-inflammatory shot. The Cavs plan for their superstar to be ready for their October 27th opener against the Bulls.
- Free agent forward Jack Cooley, who signed with the team earlier today, received an $845,059 non-guaranteed deal, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. That number indicates that it covers one year. Kennedy notes that Cooley will be competing with Austin Daye, Jared Cunningham, Quinn Cook and D.J. Stephens for two open roster spots (Twitter link).
- Thompson’s holdout and a rash of injuries are going to require patience from the coaching staff and front office during the early part of the season, writes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer. Five rotation players — Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varejao — have had surgery within the past 10 months.