Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers Agree to New Contract: Details, Comments, Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 21, 2015

INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 26:  Tristan Thompson #13  of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses for a photo during media day on September 26, 2014 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, 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 2014 NBAE  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have paid a steep price to keep a championship nucleus together and will now shell out a considerable sum over the coming years to retain promising big man Tristan Thompson.

Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported Wednesday the Cavs have agreed to terms with Thompson on a new contract spanning five years worth a total of $82 million. Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears confirmed the news, indicating Thompson's contract is fully guaranteed. On Thursday, Haynes confirmed the deal was officially done. 

Haynes added context to Thompson's deal in terms of how it stacks up with the most expensive players at his position:

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski added more details on what went down behind the scenes as Thompson's camp negotiated with the Cavs:

Thompson spoke about his eagerness to return to Cleveland on Instagram after he put pen to paper, saying, "It's been a long summer of grinding and hard work but now it's back to The Land to take care of some unfinished business. #HappyToBeBack #ALLin."

Selected No. 4 overall in the 2011 NBA draft, Thompson became a restricted free agent following the 2014-15 NBA season. In the playoffs, the young dynamo was a force in averaging 4.4 offensive boards per game and 36.4 minutes for a Cleveland squad that lost the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Synergy Sports Tech highlighted how Thompson's presence on the glass was critical to the Cavs' championship hopes:   

Thompson is capable of playing power forward and center, which helped him carve out a huge role when Anderson Varejao suffered a season-ending injury last winter. This extension suggests Thompson is in the Cavs' long-term plans, with designs on ultimately cementing himself in the starting five.

While Varejao has struggled to stay healthy, Thompson has been a prime example of durability, missing zero games over the past three seasons.

Cleveland couldn't lock up Thompson with an extension in October 2014, as negotiations halted between the budding youngster's side and the front office. Unable to strike a deal prior to media day, the Cavs must feel relieved to have reached a solution at long last. The potential for tension existed, as Thompson and LeBron James share the same agent, Rich Paul.

James publicly pushed for Thompson to remain on the team, even labeling the contract spat a distraction when speaking with reporters. The "King" ultimately got his way—as did Thompson with such a lucrative deal.

Due to Thompson's specialized set of skills, veteran NBA reporter Chris Sheridan won't be the only one who believes the cost for Cleveland to keep Thompson is unreasonable:

Only 24 years old, Thompson has plenty of room to improve on offense. His athleticism, resultant versatility as a frontcourt player and upside make him worth investing in.

This is one of the tougher calls Cavs general manager David Griffin has had to make in his brief tenure. Griffin brought in Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov midway through last season to revamp the roster and spark Cleveland's run to the Finals. 

Thompson is an undeniable X-factor because of his unique rebounding ability. Griffin had to decide whether the squad could survive without him. With a salary-cap increase on the horizon for 2016-17, it became a bit more manageable to meet Thompson's demands and keep him in a Cavs uniform.

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