Tristan Thompson reportedly rejected a four-year, $52 million contract extension with the Cavaliers before the season.
He then excelled throughout the Cavaliers run to the NBA Finals.
Where does his stock stand now?
Bob Finnan of The News-Herald:
His agent has let it be known that Thompson wants a max deal, or close to it.
You might remember Thompson’s agent, Rich Paul, from such people as LeBron James’ agent.
LeBron wields tremendous power in Cleveland. That’s why J.R. Smith opting out is a relatively safe move. LeBron likes Smith, and I bet the Cavaliers would pay extra to keep a teammate LeBron likes.
That’s even more overt with Thompson, whom LeBron said should spend the rest of his career in Cleveland. I can’t read that statement any other way than LeBron knowing he has the power and using it.
Considering the circumstances, it’s generous Thompson would even consider accepting less than the max.
Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov approached Joey Crawford during Game 4 of the NBA Finals to protest a call, and the referee screamed: “Do me a favor and shut up.”
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:
Mozgov said when the team took the floor for warmups during intermission, Crawford approached him and expressed regret for speaking to him in that manner.
“I don’t think any ref should talk that way to a player,” Mozgov told NEOMG. “That has never happened before. I didn’t appreciate it, but it’s in the past now. He apologized and I’ve moved on.”
Players sometimes cross the line when interacting with referees. That shouldn’t be permissible, but it’s understandable, because players are in the heat of competition. Playing with emotion helps, though a side effect is an inability to turn it off when communicating with refs.
Referees aren’t competing for anything. There is no legitimate reason for them to act so emotionally on the court. Refereeing with emotional harms someone’s ability to do the job. Referees should remain calm and diffuse tension.
It’s good Crawford apologized. It’d be even better if he (and a few other refs) changed their approach – but I’m sure not counting on that.
A report emerged last month Kevin Love would explore the market as a free agent this summer.
He said he’d stay with the Cavaliers.
Then he said it again.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Of all of the high-profile free agents this summer, executives still believe Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are the likeliest to be willing to change teams.
I still believe Love will stay in Cleveland, but it’s not difficult to the see the reasons he might leave:
- It is and will be LeBron James’ team. Love is even playing third fiddle behind Kyrie Irving.
- David Blatt doesn’t maximize Love’s skill set by using him so often as just a spot-up shooter.
- The Cavaliers’ playoff success after Love’s injury will only intensify the scrutiny he faces. If they stumble at all with him, many will see him as the variable and blame him.
- Cleveland is far from the biggest market.
Of course, there are reasons to stay – money and the best chance to win chief among them. It’s just that the decision isn’t automatic.
Aldridge has much more transparently signaled his desire to look around. At this point, nobody doubt that – though I’d predict Trail Blazers over any single team for where he begins next season.
But Love’s plans draw more contention.
It’s possible these NBA executives are wrong and Love is steadfastly committed to Cleveland. NBA executives are wrong all the time.
Perhaps, they’re relying on public set of circumstances we see and jumping to conclusions. But anyone with a vested interest in Love’s next team must ask themselves: Do these executives know additional information that we don’t? That goes a long way in determining the alert level for Love leaving.
For decades — since Magic Johnson and Larry Bird — the NBA has marketed its stars more than its teams. With that, the NBA’s television ratings and national popularity have been tied to the quality of its stars.
When the 2015 NBA Finals pitted the two most popular players in the game today — LeBron James and Stephen Curry — the NBA was in for a ratings bonanza.
These NBA Finals averaged 19.9 million viewers per game, up 30 percent from last year (when LeBron James was there taking on Tim Duncan and the Spurs), the league and ESPN/ABC announced. That is the highest ratings ever since ABC took over the broadcasts. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported it’s the highest ratings for an NBA finals since 1998 — Michael Jordan’s final season (we choose to ignore the Wizards years).
NBA television viewership has been up and down in recent seasons, but the drama of this series drew viewers to their televisions.
It also sent them to social media — Facebook reported 32 million of its users were discussing the NBA Finals and there were 98 million video views tied to the Finals.
The real test for the NBA is to build on this next year — regardless of who makes the NBA Finals.
The buzz out of SXSW (where it was screened) is that LeBron James is kind of a scene stealer in the upcoming Judd Apatow film, “Trainwreck.” You may have seen the ads during the Finals.
Of course, even if LeBron is the best thing in the film, the movie’s MVP award will be given to Bill Hader or Amy Schumer. That’s just the way things go for LeBron lately.
Above is a little sneak preview of the film. You’re going to have to wait until July 17 to see the entire film.