The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson have stalled out on contract extension talks and there is a chance he could sign his qualifying offer over a long term deal. LeBron James has said to the media he hopes a deal can get done and this comes as Kevin Love is coming back from his shoulder injury and is expected to be healthy for the season opener.
The Cavaliers and Thompson have reportedly hit a wall in talks and the two sides have not made any real progress for at least a month, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Chris Haynes reports that there is a wide gap in what Thompson is looking for and what the Cavs have offered. The Cavs reportedly offered a five year deal worth $80 million, but Thompson and his agent Rich Paul rejected that deal, as they felt that Thompson was worth a max deal.
Thompson reportedly wants a deal around $94 million for the max and that $14 million gap is what is holding things up. Thompson is now the most notable player left on the market and as time ticks down towards October, the qualifying offer is looking more likely. Ric Bucher at Bleacher Report wrote last month that Paul thinks that he can get Thompson a max deal next summer, as the Raptors and "other teams" could be willing to give him the max.
The Cavaliers just signed Kevin Love to a max deal and the team may not want to put that much money into one position. Love is the starter over Thompson and while Thompson stepped up with Love out in the playoffs, Love is the long term option after inking a five year deal. According to Pro Basketball Talk, Love has progressed well from shoulder surgery this summer and he is expected to be ready in time for the season opener for the Cavaliers.
Thompson reportedly will not be working out with LeBron James and some other Cavs players heading into training camp, according to Cleveland.com. While that doesn't mean much regarding his contract, clearly Thompson wants to wait for things to get settled before getting into training with his teammates. The report says that Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao, J.R. Smith, James Jones, Iman Shumpert, Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson and Sasha Kaun are all expected to be there.
Thompson still has the chance to sign his qualifying offer and at this rate that looks like the most likely option for this situation. Norris Cole just signed his qualifying offer with the Pelicans and he has the same agent in Rich Paul that Thompson has. While the two situations are very different with money and what the players were looking for, it could be a sign of what Paul is advising Thompson to do. Paul has reportedly threatened that Thompson will consider leaving the Cavaliers if he doesn't get a long term deal at the max.