The contract impasse between the Cavaliers and restricted free agent power forward Tristan Thompson has ended with the two sides signing a five-year, $82MM deal earlier today. This new pact will make Thompson the sixth highest paid power forward in the league behind Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and David Lee. It’s certainly debatable whether or not Thompson is worthy of being compensated at this level, especially given the luxury tax hit that will be tacked on. Thompson’s numbers through 306 career NBA contests are 10.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks to accompany a slash line of .488/.000/.633.
Which brings me to the topic for today: Is Tristan Thompson worth the amount of his new five-year, $82MM deal?
While Thompson is certainly a talented player whose full potential has yet to be tapped, he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to be more than an upper-tier role-player thus far in his career, which makes this deal a bit difficult to swallow from my perspective. But Cleveland does receive a secondary benefit beyond keeping Thompson in its rotation for the next five years, seeing as how LeBron James, who shares the same agent with Thompson, wanted the young power forward back with the team. Since LeBron can hit free agency after this season, keeping the superstar happy certainly is in the team’s best interests.
But what say you? Is Thompson worth Cleveland making this deal, and absorbing an even higher luxury tax penalty as a result? What numbers would Thompson need to produce to give the team its money’s worth? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.