The Cleveland Cavaliers held their first live stream practice session, which also aired on NBA TV. Everyone was present, of course, aside from Tristan Thompson.
Although he and the Cavs haven’t agreed upon a new contract, GM David Griffin is hopeful that Thompson shows up for Friday morning’s practice session with the team.
“We fully expect (Friday) he’ll be here in some form or fashion and we’re excited to get going,” Griffin told NBA TV during Thursday’s practice. “We’re hopeful that he wants to move forward with his teammates in the same way we want to have Tristan here. If we can come to some agreement we will.”
Thompson’s time to accept the Cavs one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer is down to just a few hours, and it no longer becomes a guaranteed offer as of 11:59PM EST. If he signs the offer, he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Rich Paul said that Thompson will leave Cleveland if it comes down to that.
Thompson demanded a 5-year, $94 million deal that was countered with a 5-year, $80 million offer from the Cavs. Thompson marginally lowered his demands last week when Chris Broussard reported that Thompson would be willing to sign a 3-year, $53 million deal, but the Cavs had no interest in that as well.
On Monday’s Media Day, David Griffin spoke about the Tristan Thompson contract situation for the first time all summer.
“Obviously we love Tristan Thompson and we want him to be part of our future moving forward and I think everything in our actions and our offer indicate that. We also believe very strongly that Tristan loves this team and he loves competing with these guys. We think everything in his actions to this point have demonstrated the same.”
“I think we feel very good about where this is because of who Tristan is and the relationship he has with his teammates.”
David Blatt, who has been missing Thompson at the team’s practices, said he’s looking forward to tonight.
“I’ll be interested to see what happens at 11:59 tonight,” coach Blatt said. “We’ll go from there.”