NBA: Cleveland, Thompson reach $82M deal


The Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson have finally come to terms.

Both camps ended the contract stalemate after the restricted free agent forward has agreed to a five-year, $82 million contract to stay with the Eastern Conference champions.

This comes as a very good news for the Cavs who badly need some frontcourt depth as they head on to a new season.

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The team confirmed the move Wednesday night that it had reached a verbal agreement with Thompson, who helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals versus the Golden State Warriors last season by filling in the void left by Kevin Love after sustaining a shoulder injury.

With this, the 24-year-old Thompson becomes the sixth-hightest paid power forward in the league behind Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, and David Lee. Lee, however, doesn’t have an NBA All-Star appearance to his name yet and is more limited on the offensive end.

Thompson posted an average of eight points and eight rebounds last season. His role in the rotation increased in the playoffs with the absence of Love. With Love back, Thompson, who averaged 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in the postseason, is expected to come off the bench for coach David Blatt.

Cleveland is now slated to have the biggest player salaries in the NBA this coming season at $108 million. Had Thompson declined the offer, he would have remained a restricted free agent next offseason.

The deal is expected to be sealed Thursday and Thompson, who has been working out on his own during the negotiations, can start practicing with the team. He is expected to see action in the Cavs’ opener against the Bulls in Chicago on October 27.

Love, four-time MVP LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving will also be making more than $15 million each this year.

The Cavaliers selected Thompson three picks after getting Kyrie Irving as the first overall draftee in the 2011.