Central Notes: Thompson, Landry, Kukoc

Negotiations between the Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson aren’t as contentious as they may seem, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes in his NBA AM piece. It simply comes down to Thompson’s desire for a deal approaching the max and the Cavs’ desire to curb their tax bill, as Kyler explains. Indeed, the sides aren’t as far apart financially as it seems, a league source said to Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops last week, as Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops relays. Thompson doesn’t appear eager to take the team’s qualifying offer and push the possibility of a larger payday back to next year, but insurance policies are available that Thompson could buy if he fears he wouldn’t get the kind of deal he’d be seeking in 2016, Kyler points out. See more from around the Central Division:

  • Marcus Landry‘s new contract with the Bucks is for one year at the minimum salary and is non-guaranteed, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It has limited injury protection, Pincus adds, so that would indicate that it’s an Exhibit 9 contract that would hold Milwaukee responsible for no more than $6K should Landry get hurt while playing for the team. “It’s not impossible to make [the regular season roster],’’ Landry told Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. “Guys get traded, teams make moves. I just have to hold up my end of the deal. I’m what they like to call a gym rat and I’m going to try to be in their gym as much as I can though training camp. I’m excited for this opportunity, very excited.’’
  • Playing for the Bucks is a “dream come true” for Landry, as the Milwaukee native also told Woelfel for the same piece. Landry made it clear to agent Keith Kreiter that he he wanted to play for his hometown team, and Kreiter worked with the Bucks over several weeks to engineer a deal, Woelfel writes.
  • The Bulls have hired Toni Kukoc as a special adviser to president and COO Michael Reinsdorf, the team announced. Kukoc’s duties will be wide-ranging and include “relating to the international players on our team.” The native of Croatia joins former teammate Scottie Pippen, who holds the same title for the organization.

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