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Three teams reportedly willing to give max deal to Tristan Thompson


Tristan Thompson’s agent continues to play hardball with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with reports indicating that he claims there are three teams willing to give his client a max deal after the 2015-16 NBA season.

Rich Paul, who has taken an aggressive stance with the Cavaliers ever since Thompson reportedly rejected a five-year, $80 million deal. It is believed that due to the impasse, Thompson will play out the upcoming season on a one-year, $6.9 million qualifying offer, and if that’s the case, Paul has indicated his client will be playing elsewhere the following season.

“A Tristan Thompson qualifying offer will be his last year with Cavs,” Paul ominously warned.

Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto writes on Twitter that Paul indicates there are a handful of teams willing to offer Thompson a max deal should he be an unrestricted free agent come 2016, with his hometown Toronto Raptors among them.

There are several reasons why the Raptors would be a good fit for Thompson. Not only was he born in Toronto, Cory Joseph, a pal of Thompson’s who also played at Texas and is a Toronto native, just signed a four-year deal with the Raptors.

With Cavaliers training camp set to open in about three weeks — not to mention LeBron James summoning his teammates to Miami for what is believed to be about a week-long series of pre-camp workouts — the belief that Thompson and Cavs have been virtually in communicado for weeks now certainly does not bode well for the talented 24-year-old budding superstar’s long-term future in Cleveland.

On the other hand, Thompson has had James in his corner since day one. LeBron of course serves as the Cavs’ de facto player-coach-general manager and he previously indicated that signing Thompson to a long-term deal is the team’s “No. 1 objective right now.” Complicating matters, though, is that the Cavaliers are facing major luxury tax implications, perhaps even to historic levels. But James likely will be able to exert some pressure on the Cavaliers to get a deal done.