Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson is reportedly looking for a max contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers worth $94 million over five years. Reuters/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still in talks with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson as the NBA’s training camp approaches. Thompson, who has been asking the Cavs a max contract instead of a qualifying offer, believes he is primed for a huge deal from Cleveland after his remarkable stint with the team during the NBA postseason.

Thompson has been holding off so far all the offers from the Cavs, putting the team in pressure to finalise a deal with the power forward with a week left before training camp starts. According to ESPN, the Cavs have held firm in offering Thompson a five-year deal worth $80 million (AU$112 million), but the 6-foot-10 forward is looking for a max contract of $94 million (AU$131.5 million) over the same span.

The report also stated that the Cavs are offering a fair-market contract to Thompson. The $16 million (AU$22.3 million) per year offer to the Canadian international would be in line with deals given to Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who received a max contract worth $16.4 million (AU$22.9 million) annually over five years, and Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas, who got a four-year extension of $16 million per year.

However, Thompson is in the position of making more money next summer when salary-cap space of NBA clubs are set to balloon, which makes the young forward believe he could strike multiple offers that averages $20 million (AU$28 million) a year. Thompson’s agent Rich Paul told ESPN last month that if Thompson signs the one-year qualifier, he will not return to Cleveland in 2016.

Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Cavaliers Plain Dealer offered a solution to the contract stalemate between Thompson and the Cavs. Pluto wrote that it would be a win-win situation for both parties if Thompson gets $86 million (AU$120.3 million) for a five-year deal, which is more than what Green and Valanciunas received, but well below as a maximum contract.

Thompson is a very good rebounder, and offers elite defensive skills around the rim. The 24-year-old power forward only averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds during the regular season. But when Thompson stepped up for an injured Kevin Love in the playoffs, he averaged a double-double of 11.6 points and 12.6 rebounds.

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