After a lengthy contract dispute, the Tristan Thompson holdout has officially ended. Thompson and the Cavaliers agreed to a five year deal worth 82 million dollars Wednesday evening. The agreement was first reported by Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com.
Thompson and agent Rich Paul were holding out all season seeking the max five year deal worth 94 million dollars but the Cavaliers barely budged. The rumored original offer was worth 80 million dollars but Thompson continued to hold out during all of training camp. Rumors swirled over the summer that Thompson would sign the one year qualifying offer and then leave Cleveland next summer as an unrestricted free agent. But when the qualifying offered expired on October 1, Paul and Thompson’s leverage was gone.
It’s a fair deal for both sides in my opinion. Thompson at 24 is an improving big man in the NBA. With Anderson Varejao and Kevin Love injured during the playoffs last season, Thompson showed his value to the Cavaliers averaging 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in the postseason. Thompson will get another chance to prove he’s worth his new contract as Varejao, Love along with center Timofey Mozgov are still recovering from injuries.
I know many fans are saying Thompson was overpaid but I disagree with that. Thompson was looking at a four year, 52 million dollar contract before the start of last season but decided to take a gamble and it definitely paid off. With the new television contract looming, the salary cap is projected to increase thirty percent from this season to next season. So Thompson’s contract is right on par to what he was going to make with the old salary cap. The Cavaliers now have an NBA record 115 million dollar payroll. And with additional luxury taxes, the Cavaliers will end up being worth over 170 million dollars so props to owner Dan Gilbert for opening his pockets to go “All In” with this franchise’s quest for an NBA championship which begins next Tuesday against the Chicago Bulls.