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Forward Tristan Thompson had till 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday to accept the Cleveland Cavaliers $6.8 million qualifying offer but he declined it and now he remains a restricted free agent.
This standoff has led to Thompson missing the first three days of camp and things are getting more awkward as his status with the team is unknown as of now.
There are only a few options left now Thompson and his representative Rich Paul. Via ESPN:
With the one-year option off the table — Thompson can no longer unilaterally accept the qualifying offer at that rate unless the Cavs choose to make it available again — negotiations will shift toward both sides coming to terms on a multiyear deal.
Paul recently vacated a five-year, $94 million max contract demand for his client in favor of a preferred three-year, $53 million deal, per league sources. The Cavs have already tendered a five-year, $80 million offer to Thompson, according to sources.
Paul could also seek an outside offer from another team for his client, but the Cavs would have the right to match any offer of the sort because Thompson remains a restricted free agent.
The news comes on the heels of Cavs general manager David Griffin expressing optimism that Thompson would be reporting to camp soon.
“We fully expect that tomorrow he will be here in some form or fashion,” Griffin said during NBA TV’s broadcast of Thursday’s training camp. “We’re hopeful that he wants to move forward with his teammates in the same way that we want to have Tristan here. If we can come to some agreement, then we will.”