The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson are not close on a contract extension and LeBron James is hoping a deal can get done, as reports have the Toronto Raptors interested in signing the big man to a max deal. The Cavs have Kyrie Irving recovering from an injury and he is likely going to return sooner than expected, while Kevin Love is healthy after his shoulder injury in the playoffs.
The Cavaliers and Thompson have been talking about a deal all summer and so far the two sides have not been able to agree on a contract. According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Thompson rejected a five year deal worth $80 million from the Cavaliers, as his agent is looking for a max deal. Kyler writes that Thompson and his camp feel that the forward is worth more on the market and they are looking for a deal in the range of the max, which would be around $94 million.
The Cavs have dished out a lot of money this summer with deals for LeBron James, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova and JR Smith along with Kevin Love and that has had an effect on Thompson's talks. According to Brian Windhorst at ESPN, the sides have been at a "stalemate" over the contract, as there is not a great "precedent" for Thompson's situation. Love is the starter and he has max money and the Cavs may not want to put that much into two players at the same position.
Ric Bucher at Bleacher Report writes that Rich Paul, Thompson's agent, is willing to push things, as he thinks there are multiple teams willing to go to the max on the open market. One of those teams could be the Toronto Raptors, as Thompson is from Canada and he could have interest in signing there next summer if a deal doesn't get done. Thompson has until October to sign his qualifying offer and that would be a one year deal that would make him an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Cavaliers have Irving coming back from a fractured kneecap injury that he suffered in the NBA finals and initial reports about his status had the point guard returning in January. Chris Haynes reported that Irving could be out until the middle of the season, as the Cavs wanted to be careful so that he does not have another setback. Reports had his rehab going fine, but the Cavs also know they need Irving for the playoffs. Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com added to that news, writing that "no one knows for sure" when Irving will return, but that the "Cavs do expect him to play well before January." Mo Williams will likely start in place of Irving.
The Cavs also had Kevin Love dealing with an injury from the playoffs, as he injured his shoulder against the Boston Celtics and missed the rest of the postseason. According to ESPN.com, Love is expected to be ready for the first game of the season. The Cavs have signed Sasha Kaun to a deal and he can help up front behind Timofey Mozgov.