Tristan Thompson’s Contract: 3 Things The Media Got Wrong


Sep 28, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) talks to the media during Cleveland Cavaliers media day at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After months of speculation, Tristan Thompson finally signed a five-year, $82 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The contract negotiations proved one thing: When it comes to the media and multi-media contract negotiations, never believe what your hear until a deal becomes official.

At the onset of last summer’s free agency, it was widely reported that Thompson would be signing a five-year, $80 million contract to re-up with the Cavs.

Credible sports journalists made it seem like the only thing keeping Thompson from signing was the logistics of crossing the “T’s.”

But as other free agents stayed put, or found new homes, Thompson remained unsigned. The rumors and reports that Thompson and the Cavs were close to a new deal also appear to be wrong, because as it turns out, $12 million was keeping him from re-signing.

The Cavs’ initial offer was for five years, $70 million, according to’s Terry Pluto. Thompson never got the $80 million at the start of free agency that Stein reported.

Pluto wrote:

"“There was never anything close to an $80 million agreement in early July, as reported in some circles.”"

Stein and Windhorst are two of the best in the business and there’s no doubt their sources were credible, it just turns out the sources were uniformed this time around.

2. It wasn’t a good summer for ESPN’s Chris Broussard. First, the NBA writer embarrassed himself during the DeAndre Jordan free-agent fiasco, when he Tweeted Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban was driving around looking for way to reach Jordan as it became clear DJ wanted to go back on his verbal commitment with Dallas and re-sign with the Clippers.

Perhaps their was talk of doing a shorter contract, but it doesn’t take away form the fact that Broussard, who works for one of the industry’s big boys, was flat-out wrong.

3. King James Gospel ran a post recapping something Larry Coon of Basketball Insiders said in a chat about a week ago. Coon said the Cavs pulled their five-year, $80 million offer.

Technically, this hasn’t been proven wrong yet, because who knows what happened in negotiations. But after Thompson signed earlier this week, it doesn’t look like Coon was right.

If what Pluto wrote is accurate, Coon’s report would’ve come five weeks after the Cavs finally upped their offer to $80 million.

For the Cavs to pull the offer just five weeks after making it doesn’t add up. They didn’t want to give Thompson a max deal, and just had to wait to apply some pressure to Thompson’s camp. With the season looming, the perception is their plan worked as the sense of urgency to get a contract done heated up.

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