The NBA does not allow teams to generate revenue from players not under contract. Thompson did not sign a one-year qualifying offer with the Cavaliers by a Thursday deadline, making him a holdout for the start of training camp.
As a result, Cleveland was forced to stop selling Thompson jerseys and removed any mentions of the forward from its home gym.
Thompson has been embroiled with a contract dispute with the Cavs for almost all of free agency. After appearing close to signing for a five-year, $80 million deal, Thompson began asking for a max deal of five years, $94 million.
Thompson’s agent Rich Paul reportedly lowered the request to three years, $53 million, which did not interest Cleveland. Thompson could have also signed the one-year qualifying offer and entered unrestricted free agency next summer.
The fourth-year forward has a few options now that the deadline has passed. He can sign a deal with Cleveland anywhere from one to five years, or Thompson could seek an two-to-four-year offer from a different team. Because Thompson is a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers would have the right to match any outside offer and keep him in Cleveland.
If Thompson waits out the season without signing, he would become a restricted free agent again next July, which in theory gives Cleveland some leverage in negotiations.
– Rohan Nadkarni