No deal as deadline passes for Cavaliers, Tristan Thompson

The contract dispute between the Cleveland Cavaliers and forward Tristan Thompson rolls on.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The deadline came and went as Thursday turned into Friday on the East Coast, and all was quiet in Cleveland. Forward Tristan Thompson declined to sign a one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers for this season and remains a restricted free agent, according to the AP.

Thompson had until 11:59 p.m. Thursday to accept Cleveland’s offer, but Thompson and the Cavaliers remain at odds on a long-term deal. As a matter of process, the Cavs originally had to offer Thompson the qualifying offer to retain his rights as a restricted free agent this summer. If he had accepted the deal, he would have been set to enter unrestricted free agency next summer.

Instead, that offer has expired. As a result, Thompson can no longer put as much pressure on the Cavaliers with the threat of becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season. The two sides can still negotiate a long-term deal.

Cavaliers general manager David Griffin told NBA TV on Thursday that he expected Thompson to be on the practice floor on Friday, via the Akron Beacon Journal, but Thompson was not present when practice started. As a result, he’s now officially a camp holdout. It’s something the Cavaliers have experienced before — and relatively recently — with big man Anderson Varejao, who missed the start of the 2007-08 season before coming to terms in December.

The Cavs had reportedly offered Thompson a five-year deal worth $80 million, but Thompson and agent Rich Paul had been seeking a max contract that would have paid the forward another $14 million over the life of the deal. Last week, there were reports that Thompson’s demands had changed to a three-year deal worth $53 million.

Thompson shares an agent with LeBron James, who said earlier this week that he has no interest in publicly discussing Thompson’s contract status. However, the Cavs superstar also said that he is confident the two sides will work out a deal.

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