After an extended hold out during the summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers and power forward Tristan Thompson finally agreed to a five-year deal worth a staggering $82 million. Thompson will become the fourth-best paid Cavalier on the roster, making around $14.2 million in the coming season.
Player and franchise were in a stalemate the entire offseason. Thompson was looking for a $94 million maximum contract – a deal the Cavaliers front office were not willing to put on the table, as it would put them substantially over the salary cap. With the start of the season nearing, the two sides eventually reached a satisfactory arrangement.
Re-signing Thompson was essential for the Cavs to make another run for the championship. He was their most versatile frontcourt defender and best offensive rebounder – but the retention comes at a very high price. They will have the second highest payroll in NBA history, spending more than $110 million in salaries – almost $40 million above the NBA salary cap – resulting in an additional (luxury) tax bill of $60 million.
With Thompson, the Cavaliers have a very deep front line, including Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varejao, making them heavy favorites again to represent the East in the NBA Finals.