Six weeks ago, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that restricted free agent Thompson would re-sign a big free agent deal with the Cavaliers. He had just come off a good NBA Finals performance, and on the first day of free agency Stein and Albert Wilson Authentic Womens Jersey Windhorst reported that Thompson and the Cavaliers were nearing a five-year, $80 million deal. And then the two sides stopped talking, and then even though LeBron supposedly wasn’t going to re-sign until Thompson did he went ahead and did, and then all of a sudden the two weren’t a package deal. The same day ‘s agreement with the Cavaliers was reported, Sportsnet’s Grange reported that Thompson was open-minded about signing a short-term deal with the Cavaliers: After that, silence.
For the last month, as the moratorium period Alex Smith Authentic Womens Jersey ended and everybody signed and loose ends got tied up and rosters were settled and League came and went and guys decided to move on to Europe, there was no news about Thompson. This morning, ‘s – Windhorst dropped a column explaining that there is still no deal because this is one of the most complex free agency situations of the last decade. The upshot of his piece is that, compared to a typical restricted free agent, Thompson feels he has additional leverage the form of the massive jump the salary cap take next. Restricted free agents are typically a tough spot. Since their current team has the right to match any contract offer, potential suitors are leery about wasting their time by making offer that is likely to be matched. Teams hold most of the leverage, offering their RFAs smaller contracts than they, and essentially daring them to convince another team to tender a compelling offer. At this point, the Portland Trail Blazers are the only possible big-money alternative for Thompson.
For Thompson to become a restricted free agent the first place, the Cavaliers had to extend him a one-year qualifying offer. Thompson’s case that qualifying offer is for $6 million, a 32 percent increase on his salary last year. Considering the reporting that he was nearing a five-year, $80 million contract last month, a one-year, $6-million contract seems paltry. The threat to accept the one-year qualifying offer usually isn’t taken very seriously. Sure, maybe the Cavaliers offered five-years, $80 million and Thompson wanted something closer to the five-year, $94 million. Is he really going to give up the security of $80 million and risk a career-threatening injury, or just a terrible, to take the $6 million offer and to get a mega contract as unrestricted free agent next? But according to Windhorst’s story, Thompson sees the situation differently. Depending upon where exactly next ‘s salary cap ends up, the contract for Thompson 2016 could prove to be $5 million per year more than a deal now. Over the life of a five-year contract, that adds up to over $25 million more than Thompson could get signing this year, more than making up for a salary of just $6 million this. If you look at the list of 2016 free agents, it’s a pretty garbage bunch. The only players clearly better than Thompson are Durant and Horford, and I could buy arguments for Dwyane, Conley, and Drummond as well.