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LeBron James: ‘Of course’ Tristan Thompson will re-sign with Cavaliers

2015 NBA Finals - Game Four

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 11: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers box out and look to rebound the ball during Game Four of the 2015 NBA Finals at The Quicken Loans Arena on June 11, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE/Getty Images

Tristan Thompson was reportedly close to signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Cavaliers.

Then, he wasn’t.

David Griffin said he expected Thompson would still re-sign, though the Cleveland general manager stressed patience.

LeBron James’ expectations have not changed.

The Cavaliers will probably re-sign Thompson for several reasons:

1. Thompson shares an agent, Rich Paul, with LeBron. Cleveland obviously wants to keep LeBron happy.

2. Thompson is far superior to any player the Cavs could sign instead. They won’t have cap room if they lose Thompson.

3. There are only a few teams that could approach the cap space necessary to sign Thompson. It’s unlikely any would, which incentivizes Thompson to agree to terms with Cleveland.

Thompson’s best leverage is probably the qualifying offer, which would put him back in Cleveland another year. The Cavaliers’ title window is open, so anything that keeps him in the short term provides value. But they’d probably be better off locking him up long-term, and that’s what I expect will happen.