Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson didn’t pick up his $6.78 million qualifying offer for this season, leaving him in a state of limbo as the team continues training camp, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Thompson and the Cavaliers have been in a standoff since free agency began in July. The power forward has been seeking a five-year, $94 million max contract, and he reportedly would also be willing to take a three-year, $53 million deal. Cleveland’s five-year offer has been around $80 million.
Thompson’s agent, Rich Paul, had said previously this summer that if the power forward took the qualifying offer, he wouldn’t re-sign with the Cavaliers as an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
But now that this deadline has passed, Thompson remains a restricted free agent. He can either sign a long-term deal in Cleveland, sign an offer sheet with another team or simply hold out.
Thompson played a key role off the bench for the Cavaliers last season, and he really stepped up as a starter in the postseason when Kevin Love got hurt. Cleveland wants to have Thompson back, but not at max money. It seems likely that some compromise is reached in the near future so he can report to camp, although there are no guarantees in this strange saga. Stay tuned.