The Cleveland Cavaliers removed Tristan Thompson’s likeness from their arena. 

By SI Wire
October 03, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers removed forward Tristan Thompson’s likeness from their arena and online store Friday because of NBA rules.

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.

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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.

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– Rohan Nadkarni

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