Z Files: Reality check for Tristan Thompson - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Z Files: Reality check for Tristan Thompson

Z Files (Source: WOIO) Z Files (Source: WOIO)

I don't care what you do for a living, you're worth whatever you can get somebody to pay you. So I don't begrudge Tristan Thompson for aiming high and pushing for a max deal. The problem is, he's actually hurting his long-term earning potential by taking this short-term stance and holding out. What are Thompson's options at this point? Sit out the season? That's not going to happen. That would not only cost him millions now, it would delay his development at the offensive end of the court and cost him millions later. Find another team willing to pay him max money? Highly unlikely. The Sixers and Blazers are two teams that could break the bank, but both are rebuilding, and even if they offered a three-year deal in the $51 million range, the Cavs would likely match. Which would be a gift to Thompson. In Cleveland, he's a strong role player with very little pressure. In another city, for that money, he'd have to be 'the guy', and 10 pts/10 rebounds per game, which is what Thompson averaged in the playoffs, would hardly satisfy a team, much less its' fans.

Maybe Thompson doesn't want to play behind Kevin Love for the next five years. That's understandable. Maybe that's why his agent, Rich Paul, said they'd sign for three years, at which point Thompson would still only be 27 years old, and ready to cash in elsewhere. But his leverage drops as each days passes, and if he looks around, he'll see more productive power-forwards, like Zach Randolph (16/10 for the Grizzlies, $10 mil/yr) and Derrick Favors (16/8 for the Jazz, $12.5/yr) doing more, for less.

Take the deal, Tristan. Win a title. Nowhere can you thrive more than here.

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