The future of Tristan Thompson with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains in question after Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports quoted league sources in saying that Thompson turned down a $52 million, four-year contract extension with the team.
The 6’10” Thompson, who is a restricted free agent after this season, is currently making just over $4 million per season in the final year of his rookie contract. His agent, Rich Paul, is also the agent for LeBron James.
Should the Cavaliers not come to terms, Thompson can sign an offer sheet with another team. However, the Cavs would have the right to match the offer. If the Cavaliers sign him to a qualifying offer next year, Thompson can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season.
According to Wojnarowski, NBA officials were expecting a deal to average between $10 and $12 million per year. The rejection of a deal even higher than that means contract negotiations run the risk of getting messy during the offseason.
Thompson was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, three spots behind top pick Kyrie Irving. Last year, Irving signed a five-year extension worth between $89 and $98 million.
In 39 games this year as both a starter and key reserve for Cleveland, Thompson is averaging just under 10 points and eight rebounds per game. Both of those numbers are slightly below his career average, with his game primarily based in the paint.
He has collected 10 or more rebounds in 14 games this year, including 12 on the offensive side in an overtime win against the Chicago Bulls on October 31.