David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
How much is Thompson worth when talking extension?
Thompson will be entering his fourth professional season this fall, and he will be eligible to sign an extension this summer.
Just how much will he command?
After all, Thompson is arguably slightly worse than a season ago. He's averaging 11.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.4 blocks. His field goal percentage is just 47.2 percent, down from the 48.8 percent from a season ago. A new, right-handed jumper was supposed to take his offensive game to the next level but instead Thompson has begun to revert back to his old push-shot habits.
He's extremely durable, having starting every game at power forward the last two seasons. Thompson also ranks first among power forwards in offensive rebounds at 3.2 a game. His defense has been steady but not at the level many hoped it would be.
So what's the going rate for a player like Thompson? Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal explored two players similar to Thompson and the contracts they got coming off a rookie deal.
The benchmark contracts for Thompson belong to (Derrick) Favors and Larry Sanders. The Milwaukee Bucks gave Sanders a four year, $44 million extension after he averaged 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds last season while ranking second in the league in blocks and finishing seventh in Defensive Player of the Year rankings. Favors’ deal was even richer at four years and $49 million. He rarely started with the Utah Jazz prior to this season, but his numbers now are similar to Thompson’s.
Honestly, the idea of paying $11-$12 million a year to a young forward with little offensive game who already seems to be regressing is a bit terrifying.
The Cavaliers will have a tough decision to make on this one.
Obviously they'd like to bring Thompson back but at what cost?