LeBron James: ‘Of course’ Tristan Thompson will re-sign with Cavaliers

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Tristan Thompson was reportedly close to signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Cavaliers.

Then, he wasn’t.

David Griffin said he expected Thompson would still re-sign, though the Cleveland general manager stressed patience.

LeBron James’ expectations have not changed.

The Cavaliers will probably re-sign Thompson for several reasons:

1. Thompson shares an agent, Rich Paul, with LeBron. Cleveland obviously wants to keep LeBron happy.

2. Thompson is far superior to any player the Cavs could sign instead. They won’t have cap room if they lose Thompson.

3. There are only a few teams that could approach the cap space necessary to sign Thompson. It’s unlikely any would, which incentivizes Thompson to agree to terms with Cleveland.

Thompson’s best leverage is probably the qualifying offer, which would put him back in Cleveland another year. The Cavaliers’ title window is open, so anything that keeps him in the short term provides value. But they’d probably be better off locking him up long-term, and that’s what I expect will happen.