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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Tristan Thompson reportedly wants max or near-max deal

Tristan Thompson

The Cleveland Cavaliers just lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, and now they may have another problem on their hands.

According to Cavs insider Bob Finnan of the Port Clinton News-Herald, Tristan Thompson’s agent has “let it be known” that his client will seek a max-deal or close to it this offseason.

Thompson famously turned down a 4-year, $52 million extension last October, a number widely seen as a generous valuation of the 24-year-old’s talents. The forward averaged 8.5 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game on 54.7 percent shooting from the field during the 2014-15 regular season while also proving his worth as an offensive rebounder, keeping possession after possession alive during Cleveland’s deep postseason run. But Thompson doesn’t protect the rim and his offensive game is limited to a series of ugly, elementary baby hooks that would nauseate even Ben Wallace.

Of course, that agent of Tristan Thompson isn’t just any agent. That agent is Rich Paul, the guy who also represents the NBA’s most powerful man, Mr. LeBron James. Ah, now Thompson’s boldness makes sense.

We already saw LeBron wield his influence to get the Phoenix Suns to “break bread” for fellow Rich Paul/Klutch Sports client Eric Bledsoe during Bledsoe’s contract holdout last summer.

Now just imagine what James is going to able to do for a noted buddy in Thompson who plays on the same team as he does.

Cavs GM David Griffin has publicly commented on his desire to retain Thompson this offseason.

But with Kyrie Irving’s lucrative extension done, Anderson Varejao getting paid in excess of $10 million a year to be perpetually injured, JR Smith expected to opt-in so he can zone out during David Blatt’s halftime speeches some more, and the uncertainty around if Kevin Love and/or LeBron himself will opt-out, giving Thompson a big-time payday will further ruin Cleveland’s already severely limited flexibility.

It doesn’t matter what way the NBA market is trending. You simply don’t give a rebounder a max deal. But when that rebounder is represented by the same agent as LeBron James and LeBron James wants him to get the max, he’s probably going to get the max.


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