LeBron James recently said he wasn’t going to insert himself into the Tristan Thompson contract negotiations, but James decided to do just that over the weekend.
LeBron and Thompson attended a wedding together on Saturday night, and the four-time MVP posted this to his Instagram:
Rich Paul, the agent for both players, was also at the wedding, along with several other members of his agency.
Thompson and the Cavaliers have been in a contract standoff for months, and the deadline recently passed for the power forward to take the one-year, $6.78 million qualifying offer. With no long-term deal reached either, Thompson hasn’t reported to the Cavaliers yet.
James said Sunday the situation has become a “distraction,” and he hopes it’s resolved in the very near future, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“It’s kind of like the elephant in the room all over, for everybody,” James said after practice. “Hopefully some resolve can happen sooner than later. You know, obviously, we continue to say, I continue to say how his value to us is extreme, as we saw last year in the postseason, throughout the season.
“I’m not here to talk about numbers, things of that nature, because that’s for them, for both sides to figure out. The last thing you need is a distraction when you try to make a championship run. And we have that right now. And it’s unfortunate for both sides that we’re going through it right now as a team. It’s not an excuse, we will be ready to go but hopefully something happens in the near future.”
While the Instagram post certainly looks like James trying to get the Cavaliers to cave to Thompson’s max contract demands, LeBron insisted Sunday that the message was for both parties. James also said he likely won’t intervene in the negotiations any further, but we’ll see if he stays true to that if there’s no contract agreement in the near future.