At last, the saga is over...
Tristan Thompson has agreed to a five-year, $82 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Chris Haynes of clevelanddotcom. No team or player options included in the contract.
After being unable to reach an agreement with Thompson for nearly four months, the Cavaliers have finally found a deal that agent Rich Paul and the power forward are willing to accept.
Initially, the Cavaliers were offering Thompson a five-year, $80 million deal, but he was seeking five years, $94 million, forcing the two sides to stall contract talks.
Thompson also passed up on Cavaliers’ $6.8 million qualifying offer and officially became a holdout after bypassing the October 1st deadline to accept that offer.
With the way the situation was going, many believed Thompson would not be under contract at the start of the season, even assuming he would sit out the entire year if he did not receive his desired deal. But now with six days remaining until opening night, Thompson has guaranteed his spot on Cleveland’s roster.
Thompson’s new contract makes him the sixth highest paid power forward in the league behind teammate Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and David Lee, according to Haynes.
Thompson’s contract will also force the Cavaliers to pay a tax bill of more than $60 million this season, Brian Windhorst of ESPN announces.
Thompson will re-join the Cavaliers tomorrow and will be available for the team’s season opener on October 27 against the Chicago Bulls, a game that will be televised on TNT.
Last season, Thompson averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest in 82 games and 15 starts. During the postseason, however, Thompson raised his averages to 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per night, taking over the starting power forward role in place of the injured Kevin Love.
With Love returning to the lineup, Thompson will become a bench player once again, a bench player who will earn $16.4 million annually.