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Report: Cavaliers not buying out Tristan Thompson

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 27: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is defended by Enes Kanter #11 of the Boston Celtics in the first half at TD Garden on December 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

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The hottest name on the buyout market reportedly won’t even hit the buyout market.

Tristan Thompson wanted the Cavaliers to trade him. Instead, Cleveland kept him AND traded for a better starting center in Andre Drummond.

Yet, Thompson apparently won’t enter free agency this season.

David Aldridge of The Athletic:

Teams often say they’ll refuse to buy out a player… then buy him out. But that posturing typically occurs before the trade deadline. After, there’s no leverage to be gained with other teams that might try to trade for the player.

Perhaps, the Cavs are angling to convince Thompson to relinquish more of his $7,331,859 remaining salary in exchange for freedom to choose a new team. I wouldn’t completely rule out a buyout.

But this sounds pretty definitive.

That’s a bummer for the teams that could’ve used another big – Rockets, Clippers, Celtics.

I wonder whether Thompson’s trade desire was more about transferring his Bird Rights elsewhere than leaving Cleveland. Now that he’ll either have full Bird Rights with the Cavaliers or nowhere this summer, maybe he’d rather spend the rest of the season in Cleveland and leave the door open for re-signing on a big contract.

If Thompson wanted out for other reasons, keep an eye on his attitude the rest of the season.