But wait – there’s more.
Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops:
There are three non-mutually exclusive possibilities. From most to least likely:
- Paul wants people to believe three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
- Paul believes three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
- Three teams are waiting to offer Thompson a max contract.
I have HUGE doubts about the third, major doubts about the second and no doubt about the first.
But even we accept the third to be true, that means only so much. A lot can change in a year – those teams’ needs and Thompson’s performance. Just because a team now intends to offer him the max doesn’t mean it actually will.
And that’s if we believe the third to be true, which I do not.
Thompson might draw a max contract as un unrestricted free agent next summer after accepting the qualifying offer. Teams will collectively have more cap space than they know what to do with thanks to the new national TV deals. Player contracts will escalate quickly. Thompson is young and productive enough to warrant max consideration.
He’s not good enough to warrant saving a max contract for him now, though. For Thompson to get the max next summer, he’ll have to earn it this summer.
That’s why he’d probably prefer the assurance of a max deal from the Cavaliers now, even if that will pay less over five years ($94,343,125) than the qualifying offer plus a projected four-year max elsewhere next year would ($96,222,347).
How does Thompson command that max offer now? Intimate – true or not – he has better alternatives.