Cavs Rumors: Tristan Thompson to Toronto Raptors in 2016?

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It has already been publicly declared by Tristan Thompson’s agent that Thompson won’t return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17 if he is forced to accept the team’s qualifying offer.

Now there are more wrinkles developing in the story.

Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops reports that there are rumblings that Thompson could depart for his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors, during the 2016 offseason if he becomes a free agent:

“There are rumblings that agent Rich Paul could deliver another client to his hometown team in the near future. Several league executives believe Canadian Tristan Thompson may head north to Toronto in the summer of 2016 if he signs his one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

An Eastern Conference general manager even commented that he thought Thompson would end up in Toronto this year:

“I always thought he was going to end up in Toronto this year. There’s going to be so much money next year so I think he will get it.”

For those that aren’t aware, the 24-year-old power forward has been a free agent for nearly two months now. His agent, Rich Paul, has been tough to please—he rejected the Cavaliers’ five-year, $80 million contract offer to Thompson earlier this summer.

When considering that Thompson is a role player on an already deep Cleveland team, that type of money is excellent. However, when considering the salary cap will balloon to $90 million next season, maybe it is smart that Thompson holds out for more money next offseason.

At the current moment, the Raptors have too much money tied up in salary cap for the 2016-17 season in order to sign the veteran forward. If they are to acquire Thompson, they would need to clear up cap space through trades.

Regardless, if Thompson is forced to accept the Cavaliers’ one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer, it appears definitive that he won’t be back in Cleveland after the upcoming season.

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D.J. Siddiqi is a staff writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has followed the NBA passionately since the 90's and has taken a keen interest in following LeBron James' career since he was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft. Once a critic of LeBron, DJ has grown to admire James as he has evolved from 18-year-old phenom to a four-time MVP and two-time NBA Champion. He looks forward to bringing his knowledge of the game to Cavaliers Nation.