The Cleveland Cavaliers have one last thing on their offseason to-do list they have yet to check off. The Cavaliers have gotten contracts done for everyone from LeBron James and Kevin Love to Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. The last thing that remains is getting Tristan Thompson signed to a long-term contract which is something easier said than done. As the two sides continue with zero communication, is the situation enough to make James re-think staying in Cleveland?
According to Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com and Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors, Thompson is holding firm at his demands for a contract worth five years and $94 million. Cleveland is holding firm at their offer of $80 million which was rejected by Thompson earlier in the offseason. The lack of communication means the power forward could simply sign his qualifying offer and head elsewhere next year. According to his agent, that is a real possibility as he believes either the Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics will give out a bigger contract in free agency.
So where does this leave Cleveland? The team is at risk of losing a top young player for nothing in return. They could attempt to trade Thompson right now, but the market is slim and it would leave a huge hole on their 2015 roster. They could try and win Thompson back next offseason with a max contract, but by then the relationship might be over. Is this drama enough to force James out who has been very vocal about the need to bring Thompson back?
According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers are not worried that James will depart over the Thompson drama or for any other reason as they believe the star cannot break Cleveland's heart twice. Bucher reports that mindset means James does not have as much leverage with the team as everyone thinks that he does because Cleveland believes they have the upper hand. James is already re-signed to another contract that will allow him to truly cash in with the salary caps increase. While no one expects James to head elsewhere any time soon, the Cavaliers would be wise not to push their theory too hard.