Missing media day was one thing — he didn’t get to record any cool promotional bits, but that’s about it.
Tuesday was another — Tristan Thompson skipped the Cavaliers first practice. He’s still is in a battle with Cleveland over his contract extension, he wants a max deal, and the Cavaliers are offering something closer to $16 million a season (although they might go higher).
Coach David Blatt played it off, as you would expect. Here is what he said, via Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Cavs coach David Blatt said Thompson’s missing practice wasn’t “too, too much (of a concern) right now,” and “obviously we hope to see him as soon as possible.
“But as I know Tristan, he’s maintaining great condition and he will hopefully be with us as soon as possible,” Blatt said. “For a coach it’s every day (wanting Thompson back). I’d rather not think about the bad end of the expectation. I’m just hoping to see him here sooner than later.”
“Play my clips from yesterday, I’ve already addressed it,” James said tersely, following the Cavs’ first practice of the 2015-16 season. “I probably won’t address it too much more. Like I said I’m optimistic both sides will get something done and he’ll get here sooner than later.”
Thompson and the Cavaliers are trying to reach a deal, if they do not he will play for the qualifying offer — “just” $6.8 million — and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Paul seems willing to bet that next summer, in a market where two-thirds of NBA teams will have the money to sign a player to a max contract, that someone will throw more money at Thompson.
We will see soon if he and Thompson and willing to take that risk, or if the two sides reach a compromise.