The identity of the best remaining free agent, restricted or unrestricted, is pretty clear. Tristan Thompson‘s value was on full display after Kevin Love went down with a shoulder injury in the playoffs. The 2011 No. 4 overall pick gave the Cavs size, muscle and skill that helped them topple the Bulls and a 60-win Hawks team on the way to the Finals. Thompson averaged a whopping 4.4 offensive rebounds per game in postseason play. Still, no one will mistake the ambidextrous Canadian for a true NBA superstar.
The Rich Paul client has spent the past month as a restricted free agent, much of it in a stalemate after he and the Cavs were reportedly close to a deal on July 1st. Thompson was apparently ready to settle for $80MM over five years, but he reportedly asked for $85MM after it seemed that fellow restricted free agent forward Draymond Green would get that much in his deal with the Warriors. Green wound up with $82MM instead. In any case, Cavs GM David Griffin expressed confidence two weeks ago that he and Thompson would reach a deal.
Not much progress appears to have taken place since. So, we ask: What do you think will happen with Thompson, and how much will he see on his next deal? The Cavs have leverage, since they can match any offer, and only the Sixers and Trail Blazers have the cap room necessary to tender a max offer sheet. Still, Thompson has the nuclear option of signing his qualifying offer of nearly $6.778MM to hit unrestricted free agency next summer, just when the salary cap is set to vault, giving teams loads of cash to burn. Thompson and LeBron James share Paul as an agent, and James wants Thompson to return to Cleveland, so the Cavs face pressure.
So, tell us what you think happens and how much Thompson will make next season. To comment, simply enter your name and email address, write what you want to say, and submit it; there’s no need to become a registered user. Just make sure you comply with our commenting policy.