Monday September 21st, 2015

Restricted free-agent forward Tristan Thompson and the Cleveland Cavaliers are $14 million apart in contract talks, reports ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Thompson wants a max contract of $94 million over five years, while Cleveland is offering $80 million over the same time frame, according to the report. Thompson may sign a one-year qualifying offer for $6.9 million and enter unrestricted free agency next summer if a deal is not reached by the end of the week.

In August, Bleacher Report reported Thompson’s agent Rich Paul believes Thompson could receive a max offer as an unrestricted free agent in 2016. Max contract values will increase next season as the NBA’s salary cap rises. Paul also told ESPN last month if Thompson signs the qualifying offer, he will not sign a long-term deal with Cleveland next summer.

Thompson and Cavs star LeBron James share Paul as an agent, but according to the report, James has stayed out of negotiations. Thompson has also kept his distance from the team, opting not to join James-organized practices in Miami earlier this month.

GOLLIVER: The top 10 comebacks for 2015–16

The Cavaliers’ offer of $80 million is close to the deals big men Draymond Green and Jonas Valanciunas signed this summer with the Warriors and Raptors, respectively. 

Thompson, 24, increased his value greatly during the Cavaliers' run to the NBA finals. The forward increased his per-game averages in minutes, points and rebounds during the playoffs. Thompson averaged 8.5 points and eight rebounds during the regular season, and 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in 20 playoff games.

– Rohan Nadkarni


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