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Tristan Thompson’s Contract in Limbo?

Anderson Varejao’s 6-year, $48 million contract he signed in 2009 will be up after this NBA season and the Cavs are in talks with getting the veteran to resign. In Tristan Thompson’s case, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao could all be free agents next summer so the young big man could have to wait a while before he gets his big contract.

{adinserter 2}News surfaced this week of serious negotiations taking place between veteran center Anderson Varejao and the Cavaliers front office. Anderson Varejao is a grizzled veteran who is notorious for giving 110% night in and out for the Cavaliers. He played alongside LeBron James when the Cavaliers made their finals run in 2007, and he was a member of the 2010-14 team that lost 26 straight regular season games in a row and accepted humility with three 1st overall picks. He is considered by many to be the best rim protector on the Cavaliers and rightfully so. Varejao has injury issues but when you watch the way that he plays it is not hard to see why. Andy consistently throws his body around on the boards and contests layups against some of the largest big men in the NBA so you can imagine why he gets banged up. The talks of an extension may have some Cavaliers fans worried because of Varejaos inability to remain healthy on the court for a full season. Some are questioning why the Cavaliers have decided to pursue an extension with Varejao instead of their emerging starlet big man Tristan Thompson.

One of the main reasons why the Cavs are pushing to get Andy’s deal done before Thompsons is that he has been on the Cavaliers forever and is a longtime friend and teammate of LeBron James. Varejao is not likely to warrant more than $8 million per year based on his inability to remain healthy and the fact that he is 32 and may not be the same player that he once was. Thompson on the other hand is still young and has just started to emerge as a possible successor for Andy. He also will cost the Cavs much more money than Andy would; Thompson could foreseeably ask for anything from $11 million to up to $14 million per year. Tristan Thompson is also a restricted free agent this summer and the Cavaliers could play the waiting game and match his offer if no other team pursues him, which would be very unlikely seeing the type of athletic talent that Tristan Thompson is. Realistically, the Cavaliers should try to get a deal done sooner rather than later, which would mean meeting the contract deadline of October 31st. While the futures of LeBron and Kevin Love may be more pressing, the Cleveland Cavaliers might be faced with a use or lose situation when it comes to Tristan Thompson’s contract.

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