Tristan Thompson‘s decision not to accept the Cavaliers’ qualifying offer may indicate that he overestimated the market for his services, writes Zach Lowe of Grantland.com. Thompson and his agent, Rich Paul, had threatened to take the one-year, $6.8MM offer and pursue a max-level deal with another team next summer. Lowe speculates that their change of heart may mean they no longer expect that deal to materialize. The Cavs’ problem is that they won’t have cap space available to pursue a high-salaried replacement for Thompson if he does leave after this season. With only small cap exceptions, the columnist said Cleveland would be limited to chasing players such as Trevor Booker or Ed Davis.
There’s more news out of Cleveland:
- Thompson’s asking price is out of line for a player of his production, according to Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. As a reserve who averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season, Blancarte contends Thompson isn’t worth either the max deal he sought or the three-year alternative worth nearly $53MM that his representatives floated this week. He notes that Thompson ranked 116th in the league last season with a Real Plus-Minus Rating of 0.86 and sported a 15.6 Player Efficiency Rating (compared to 20 for Davis, who signed just a three-year, $20MM deal with Portland).
- Coach David Blatt’s preference for power forwards who can make three-pointers gives Austin Daye hope of making the roster, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. At 6’11”, Daye is a career 35% shooter from long distance. He has been with five teams in seven seasons and averaged 3.8 points per game last year in 34 games with the Spurs and Hawks.
- Duke rookie Quinn Cook has been impressive during training camp, Pluto writes in the same story. Injuries to Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert have given Cook a larger-than-expected role, and although he isn’t especially athletic, the coaches like Cook’s ability to run a team.