Despite Interest, Buyout For Cavaliers' Thompson Remains Unlikely

Sam Amico

Neither the Cavaliers nor Tristan Thompson intend to pursue a contract buyout, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, but if they did, the Raptors sure could use his rebounding.

"Toronto has reached out and expressed interest in adding Thompson if he gets bought out from the final months remaining on the five-year, $82-million contract he signed in the summer of 2015," Grange reported.

He later added, however, that Toronto fans shouldn't get their hopes up -- as a buyout is unlikely.

Instead, the Cavs want to hang onto Thompson's Bird rights to use in a potential sign-and-trade during the offseason. Whether or not that will happen is another matter.

Both Thompson and the Cavs were reportedly hoping Thompson would be moved before last week's deadline. It didn't happen then ... but perhaps a sign-and-trade will indeed prove to be more doable.

Thompson is native of Brampton, Ontario, just outside Toronto. 

SI.com mentioned the Raptors' interest in Thompson in December. It was vehemently shot down by several sources and media outlets at the time. But it was true then and remains true today.

"From Thompson’s perspective, taking a buyout – even if he landed in Toronto or maybe with his old pal LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers — would mean he’d be entering a tight free-agent market where only a few teams are projected to have cap space during an era when the market for bigs that don’t space the floor is increasingly limited," Grange wrote. 

"The best chance Thompson has of getting a deal for above the mid-level exception is to play things out with the Cavs."

Right now, Thompson is coming off the bench behind newly acquired center Andre Drummond. It's highly doubtful Thompson will want to continue to do that on a team that isn't competing for a playoff spot.

Thompson, 28, is averaging 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds. He has spent his entire career with the Cavs, having been drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in 2011.

Several other contenders are reportedly strongly interested in Thompson. Players must have their contracts bought out or be waived before March 1 to be eligible for the postseason.

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