The Cleveland Cavaliers are working on a contract extension with Tristan Thompson this summer and a deal has not been close to getting done and this comes as LeBron James wants Thompson back along with JR Smith, while Timofey Mozgov reportedly will not sign an extension with the team.
The Cavaliers and Thompson were reportedly close to an agreement earlier in the summer for around $80 million, but new reports have the forward looking for a max deal. According to Brian Windhorst at ESPN.com, the Cavs and Thompson have not made any "real progress" since last month on a deal and sides are in a "stalemate" over talks. Windhorst reports that since there is "no clear precedent" for Thompson's situation, the sides have had a hard time finding "middle ground."
Thompson has shown that he has the talent to be a top NBA player, but with the Cavaliers he is not a starter with Kevin Love on the team. While Thompson played a major role in the playoffs with Love out, the Cavaliers showed their commitment to Love this offseason with a major contract extension. The team has made a number of moves already by signing back LeBron James, James Jones, Love, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova and that could make it tough for the Cavs to give Thompson a max deal as well.
Windhorst reports that Thompson is looking for a deal of "around $94 million over five years" and the Cavs have offered "significantly less." The Cavaliers are expected to try and sign Timofey Mozgov back next summer and that will cost the team and all of this could lead Thompson to sign his qualifying offer. According to Chris Haynes at Cleveland.com, sources report that Thompson is considering the one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer, which would make him a free agent next summer.
Smith is still on the market and Sam Amico from Fox Sports reports that the Cavs are interested in bringing the guard back. Smith opted out of his contract this summer and he likely now will take a pay cut wherever he signs. Smith had a player option at $6.4 million and he will have to sign for less, as he likely will not be a starter if he is with the Cavaliers. Smith averaged 12 points per game last season and Cavs have Iman Shumpert and James Jones on the roster as well.
The Cavaliers brought in Timofey Mozgov in a trade last season and he proved to be a very valuable piece for the team as they made a finals run. Mozgov is heading towards free agency and according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto, the center will not sign an extension this season. CBS Sports writes that there is "no incentive" for Mozgov to sign now and he is coming in after the Cavs picked up his $4.9 million option for this season.
The Cavaliers also could consider moving Anderson Varejao at some point, as Mozgov is the main starting center and the team may bring in a free agent for camp at the position. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cavs could look at moving Varejao because he has a non-guaranteed salary coming in a couple years and for teams clearing cap space, it could be valuable.