But officially, training camp does open next week, September 29.
Once he entered the starting lineup (Eastern Conference Semis Game 2 vs. Chicago), he averaged 10.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. But is the roster actually complete as we speak? The National Basketball Association world widely believes LeBron has a tremendous amount of say in the Cavs’ personnel decisions, and if they ignore him, it could factor into his decision when he becomes a free agent again.
According to Barry Windhorst of ESPN, a team source is indicating that the Cavs and Thompson remain about million apart in their latest negotiations.
Cleveland has a number of big men returning from surgery, including Love, Anderson Varejao (Achilles) and Timofey Mozgov (knee), another factor Thompson’s camp has relied upon to hold fast in its negotiations. If he gets hurt or has a bad season, he might not end up with a better offer than the $80 million the Cavaliers offered him this season.
The issue is apparently the annual money Thompson will make. If Thompson has another strong year, he’ll look like a genius for gambling on his future with a one-year deal. But still, Thompson thinks he’s worth more, willing to be patient, hoping the Cavs fold first.
The report highlights that the Cavs believe that their offer is a fair-market contract, with players like Draymond Green of the world champion Golden State Warriors ($16.4 million annually) and Jonas Valanciunas of the Toronto Raptors (16 million) getting deals around that neighborhood. With training camp just around the corner, that doesn’t leave much time for the two parties to find a common ground before Thompson’s imposed deadline.
“If Thompson is on the qualifying offer, this will be his previous year with the Cavs”, agent Rich Paul told several media outlets, including ESPN.
With the whole Thompson contract still at an impasse, it remains to be seen what comes out of this.
While Thompson did prove to be an important part of this Cleveland team last season – especially as a fill-in for Kevin Love during the postseason – is he worth almost $19 million a year?