As we all know, the last remaining free agent on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ agenda remains unsigned. After a lengthy standoff through the summer, Tristan Thompson – a restricted free agent – failed to sign a one-year qualifying offer before this past Thursday’s deadline. As a result, he’s officially a hold out, a fact hammered home by his absence from Friday’s team practice.
The Cavs and Thompson now essentially have no choice but to figure out an agreeable contract so he can get back on the court and prep for the upcoming season. It doesn’t seem like Thompson is interested in showing up to practice without a deal in tow, so while his teammates are chipping off rust and prepping to try and make another Finals run, he’ll be quietly keeping to himself at home.
Theoretically, it would appear as though Thompson is making a power move. He could have easily buckled to the temptation of avoiding the “outcast” label and showed up to practice. However, it seems he’s continuing to hold out in order to try and leverage the deal he wants from Cleveland.
Here’s a slight problem with this: by not signing the qualifying offer, Thompson actually lost a big chunk of what little leverage he used to have.