All summer long, there has been an awkward impasse between the Cleveland Cavaliers and restricted free agent Tristan Thompson.
The Thompson camp, which it should be noted also represents superstar teammate LeBron James, turned down a reported $80 million-plus offer from the Cavs and may now be looking North.
According to Sheridan Hoops, agent Rich Paul could be steering his client to the Toronto Raptors next summer:
There are rumblings that agent Rich Paul could deliver another client to his hometown team in the near future. Several league executives believe Canadian Tristan Thompson may head north to Toronto in the summer of 2016 if he signs his one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers. […] “I always thought he was going to end up (in Toronto) this year,” one Eastern Conference general manager said. “There’s going to be so much money next year so I think he will get it.”
Paul also is the agent for Cory Joseph, another Canadian who signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the Raptors this summer. At 24, Joseph became the first Toronto-bred NBA player to sign with the team in the prime of his career. […] It’s also worth noting that Joseph and Thompson are friends who have played together during their AAU, high school and college days.
The X-factor in Toronto lies off the court, where Thompson’s marketability as a homegrown hero dwarfs his marketing ceiling in Cleveland. […] “He’s a Toronto kid and I’m sure he has a strong following at home,” one Eastern Conference executive said.
Photo courtesy of Charles Vanegas