Tristan Thompson: The True Worth


Tristan Thompson: The True Worth


After a long summer of back-and-forth, mixed reports, crazy rumors, Gongfu Tea Cupa 4-month standoff between Tristan Thompson, and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization, the power forward and the team were finally able to get a deal done.




Tristan Thompson agreed to a 5 year, $82 million contract extension, with 100% of the money being guaranteed. Tristan Thompson came into the summer demanding a full max $94-million extension, however the Cavaliers did not want to give him more than $80 million. Due to the pressure of the season starting soon, both sides were able to come to an agreement, as Tristan’s original demands were not able to be achieved. For a player that has averaged 10.1 PPG and 8.0 RPG throughout his four-year career, a $16.4 million per year contract is definitely a hefty overvaluation. Yes, of course Tristan Thompson got more money than he has shown to be worth. But it was a necessary, and smart move on the Cavaliers part to lock him down long term on less money than he was demanding at first.

The NBA salary cap this season, although elevated from last off-season is still not yet at the level it is projected to be over the course of the next couple of years. The salary cap is rising to exponential levels, and NBA contracts are going to be extremely more expensive. For the Cavaliers to be able to lock down Tristan Thompson now was fantastic for them. Next year, Tristan Thompson would be demanding much more than $16.5 million per year, due to an insanely higher salary cap. He would have been a lot more expensive, and would not have had the right restrictions that he had this off-season as a restricted free agent. He could have left to a team like the Toronto Raptors very easily, with his long-term deal.




However, the money that was spent, albeit high, was necessary if the Cavaliers wanted to give their team the best chance to win the title next year. The Cavaliers have proven their ability to play with the best of teams, if they were healthy, and with bringing the whole team back together next year, that will only improve with better chemistry and more postseason experience together. The Cavs were already over the salary cap, from their insane spending last off-season and this off-season. Even without signing Tristan, they would be over the salary cap still, and would only be able to afford non guaranteed deals and veteran minimums. So, they couldn’t have spent that money on improving their team to get a player that would have anything close to the impact that Tristan Thompson can have on their team. All that is happening with paying higher money for Tristan Thompson is that the owner of the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, would have to pay more money in luxury tax fines. Because it would equate to a higher payroll, the luxury tax fees would be higher as well. So, the Cavaliers were holding out to try and save the most money as possible, especially since the luxury tax would already have been a huge burden on Dan Gilbert with the re-signings of LeBron James, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, and JR Smith this off-season. Dan Gilbert, by premising GM David Griffin to sign Tristan for $82 million is doing what needs to be done to make the Cavaliers the best team possible.




The Cavaliers are a better team with Tristan Thompson. One, he provides such great insurance for Kevin Love, who has struggled through his fair share of long-term injuries throughout his career. Tristan Thompson has shown his ability to step up and make his presence seem felt, through last year’s playoffs. Also, he provides another dimension to the Cavaliers, offensively and defensively. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers turned into an insane defensive team amidst all the injuries they suffered. This was in large part due to Tristan Thompson’s ability to switch on pick-and-rolls and guard the smaller guard. He is one of the best pick-and-roll big men in the game, and definitely an elite offensive rebounder, which is how he became so well-known. Of course the Cavaliers are paying an insane amount of money for a bench player, but they had to realize that it helps their team, and the only penalty of paying more was luxury taxes.

Also, this was Tristan Thompson’s real chance in his career to make real money, so he can’t be blamed for trying his best to make the most money he possibly could. Also, it must be considered, that he cares about his playing time. As a Cav, he will be a back-up under Kevin Love at PF. Tristan Thompson very well could have been the starting forward for a multitude of NBA teams, which is what he does desire. It definitely takes a lot of incentive, in the form of contract money, to convince someone to leave a starting role with plenty of playing to time to take a bench role.


Taking this bench role, the Cavaliers have truly solidified their relationship, and will be one of the deepest teams once players like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and Iman Shumpert are completely healthy, especially with their new additions of Mo Williams, Richard Jefferson, Sasha Kaun, and Jared Cunningham. Since they couldn’t have done anything else with the money they would be saving if they didn’t sign Tristan other than luxury tax relief, Dan Gilbert realized it was the time right now, while LeBron James is still in his prime, to give the Cavaliers the bench chance to win the NBA title, and their team is ready to go and give it their all.


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