Report: LeBron won’t base his future with Cavs on Tristan Thompson
Sources close to LeBron James say that the Cavaliers star won’t base his future in Cleveland on whether or not Tristan Thompson remains with the team. James also reportedly won’t wield his considerable power and exert excess force upon the Cavs organization to get a deal done with the 24-year-old power forward.
Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Joe Varndon writes in a report that “a source close to James said Thompson’s contract is a ‘non-discussion right now’ for James as it relates to his own future, and a team source said the Cavs believe ‘LeBron’s goals don’t change relative to Tristan Thompson or anyone. Be as good as we can be for as long as we can be.'”
Thompson and the Cavaliers are mired in at times a contentious contract negotiation that reports indicate currently are at a stalemate. It’s worth noting that Thompson and James share Rich Paul as their agent. Further, Paul said previously that if Thompson ends up signing a $6.9 million qualifying offer — a distinct possibility considering the parties reportedly are $14 million apart in negotiations after Thompson rejected five-year, $80 million deal — the 2015-16 NBA season would be his client’s “last year with Cavs.”
James, the Cavs’ de facto player-coach-general manager indicated in August that signing Thompson to a long-term deal should be the team’s “No. 1 objective right now.”
Thompson has until Oct. 1 to sign either a long-term deal or the one-year qualifying offer. While James has remained relatively silent of late — publicly at least — regarding Thompson’s future with the team — it will be interesting to see what he says the first time he speaks to reporters at the team’s media day next Monday ahead of training camp opening on Tuesday.
After all, it’s obvious that one word from James one way or the other would certainly have a dramatic impact on how things ultimately play out.