Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson neglected to call the current contractual stalemate a “holdout.” That’s primarily because Thompson had until Thursday (yesterday) to sign the one-year qualifying offer, since they were not able to come to terms on a longterm deal.
But that deadline has come and gone, so is it a holdout now? Still no deal for Thompson. You have the feeling this could get uglier.
Tristan Thompson failed to pick up the Cavs' $6.8 million qualifying offer by the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline per league source.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 2, 2015
His options now are as follows:
He can still sign an offer sheet with another team until March 1, and the Cavs would have matching rights. The only teams with the cap space needed to sign him to a max-level offer sheet are the Blazers and Sixers, neither of whom have shown much interest so far.
He can sign a deal with the Cavs, but he’s at the mercy of whatever they decide to offer him. And they have no incentive to give him the max contract he’s been demanding, now that he doesn’t have the qualifying offer to hold over their heads as an early out.
He could simply sit out the season, but then he would become a restricted free agent again next summer (assuming the Cavs make another qualifying offer), and we do this all again in a year.