Free agent power forward Tristan Thompson, an important member of Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster that clinched the Eastern Conference title last season, may head towards his homeland club Toronto Raptors at the end of this season.
With Thompson’s contract negotiations with Cavs management going nowhere, experts say that the star will be accepting the one-year qualifying offer to feature for Cleveland this season before possibly moving north of the Border with the Raptors on a lucrative deal. Cleveland is already beyond the cap with luxury tax penalties.
The 6-foot-9 big man has been linked with the Raptors throughout this off-season. But any possibility of moving is unlikely as the Cavs are not interested to let their talented youngster leave unless they gain something valuable in return.
“I can’t see the Cavs signing-and-trading Tristan Thompson right now. They want to bring him back, it just seems they’re trying to get him on a cheaper contract (especially since they’re a luxury tax team).” said Alex Kennedy, an analyst at Basketball Insider.
“The only way I think we see Toronto become a possible suitor for Thompson is if he takes the one-year qualifying offer. That would make him an unrestricted free agent next summer, in which case it’s possible he could look to head home to join the Raptors. I think a trade now is pretty unlikely though.”
The 24-year-old was more effective postseason as he averaged 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in 36.4 minutes per game during that phase, much better than his average of at least 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in the regular seasons.