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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson remain $14 million apart in negotiations

Tristan Thompson

With training camp set to open in a week, the clock is ticking for the Cleveland Cavaliers and restricted free agent Tristan Thompson.

According to a report on Monday by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the two sides remain $14 million apart in contract talks. Thompson, 24, has been holding out all summer for a max extension at five years and $94 million, but the Cavaliers reportedly are holding firm at an offer of five years, $80 million. Talks are said to have been at a standstill since early July with little optimism on either side of a deal getting done.

Thompson, who averaged 8.5 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game last season (max-level production, much?), is a vicious rebounder and a strong post defender who lacks polish in the other aspects of his game.

Don’t expect the Cavaliers to cave, especially considering the Grand Canyon-sized luxury tax bill they already have to foot, Thompson not even withstanding. And don’t expect Thompson, who’s punch-drunk with the audacity that comes with having a few good games in the playoffs and sharing an agent with LeBron James, to cave either.

It seems like the inevitable endgame here is that Thompson takes the one-year qualifying offer for $6.9 million and hits the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2016. Perhaps he heads to his native Canada to play for the Raptors. But as the days wind down before the opening of training camp, it’s becoming clear that the former No. 4 overall pick may have just ruined what could have been a lasting partnership in long-term contention with the Cavs because of his greed and his unrealistic assessment of his own talents.

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