The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson have been trying to get a contract extension done this summer and talks have been slow and now a report has Thompson looking for a max deal from the Cavs, as his agent expects the Toronto Raptors to offer a deal next summer in free agency. The Cavs also got tough news on Kyrie Irving, as he will likely miss the start of the season and could be out until January.
The Cavaliers have had a very successful offseason when it comes to keeping the core of the team together and Thompson is the next piece of that puzzle. The team signed back LeBron James, Iman Shumpert, Kevin Love, James Jones and Matthew Dellavedova along with JR Smith and Thompson is the last name left to come back. According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Thompson is looking for a max deal from the Cavaliers and he "will not sign a long term" contract unless it is at the max.
There were reports earlier in the summer that Thompson was considering signing his qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer and this would play into that. Bucher writes that Thompson's agent Rich Paul thinks that Thompson can get a max deal next summer, likely with the Raptors, and that Thompson is "prepared" to sign the qualifying offer if he doesn't get a max deal. Thompson and the Cavs reportedly were close to a deal earlier in the summer, but Thompson's side rejected a five-year deal worth $80 million.
The Cavaliers are also dealing with a tough situation with Kyrie Irving, as the point guard is expected to be out for the start of the season. According to Cleveland.com, Chris Haynes reports that Irving likely will not be ready to start the season and could remain out until January while recovering from a knee injury suffered in the NBA finals. Sources reports that Irving's rehab is going fine, but that the Cavaliers want to be cautious to avoid any setbacks.
Brian Windhorst reported for ESPN in August that Thompson and the Cavs were in a "stalemate" over a contract, as Thompson does not have a clear "precedent" for his situation. The Cavs have Love as the starter at Thompson's position and while Thompson has shown that he can be a quality player, Love is an established star and just signed a max contract.
Pro Basketball Talk writes that the situation still has time to play out, but that things could get tough, as Paul is LeBron James' agent and he has said already he wants the Cavs to keep Thompson. There is a chance that a deal could get done leading into the start of the season and PBT writes that there is a chance that Thompson could accept less than the max by the deadline date, but right now it's not looking likely.
The Raptors news is interesting, but Pro Basketball Talk points out that the team would have to make some significant moves to offer Thompson a max deal. Thompson is Canadian and that is why the Raptors have been mentioned and PBT writes that the team would likely to move players, possibly DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, DeMarre Carroll or Patrick Patterson and that could break up the young core of the team.