LeBron James Insists He’s Not Trying To Influence Cavs In Tristan Thompson Contract Talks


Oct 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right) reacts with forward Tristan Thompson (13) during a timeout against the Milwaukee Bucks at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland won 106-100. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James, ever so passive aggressively, indicated that he’s not trying to push the Cleveland Cavaliers to get a contract done with Tristan Thompson–he’s just going to post Instagram photos pushing the front office toward outcomes he finds favorable.

Thompson, of course, is James friend, and is represented by another James amigo, agent Rich Paul. The three attended a wedding Saturday night, which is where this picture of James and Thompson was taken.

James has stated that he doesn’t want to talk about the ongoing negotiations, but the four-time MVP fully injected himself into headline stealing stalemate by posting the photo, urging the Cavs, or Thompson, or both, to “get it done.”

The actual post had a very pro Tristan, anti management feel to it, but James is sticking by the story that the photo was meant to be a motivator to both sides. This insistence was made during the same time he called the holdout an “elephant int eh room” and a “distraction.”‘

For a guy that didn’t want to speak much on the matter just a few days ago, James’ change of tune seems a little off, especially considering how James is perceived to play into the contract negotiations.

More from Cleveland Cavaliers

The public’s thinking is as follows: Cleveland needs LeBron, so the Cavs better keep him happy. To do that, the front office better pony up for Thompson, so that James’ buddy (Rich Paul) gets his share.

It’s an interesting line to see GM David Griffin and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert walk. Most NBA experts with an opinion agree Thompson isn’t worth a maximum-level contract. But because he’s so valuable, and the Cavs are the cusp of winning, you can’t really put a price on what he brings to the squad, even if he’s the backup power forward. That’s probably Paul’s argument.

James’ timing is also intriguing because Thompson actually lost leverage by not signing the Cavs one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer. Had he signed it, he could play one more season and then go elsewhere. But if he holds out the entire year, he’ll become a restricted free agent again.

His best move is to probably take the Cavs five-year, $80 million offer that was put on the table last July. Grantland’s Zach Lowe recently wrote that offer is still on the table.

What do you think? Is LeBron trying to send a message to management?

Next: Analytics Show Thompson Isn't A Max Player

More from Factory of Sadness