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Cavaliers Rumors: Tristan Thompson Not Expected to Be Bought out After Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 28: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 28, 2020 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren't expected to buy Tristan Thompson out of his contract after failing to trade him before Thursday's deadline, according to The Athletic's David Aldridge

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Tuesday that Thompson was open to a contract extension with the Cavs at one point but had communicated to the team he was looking to be traded.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Cleveland negotiated a possible trade with the Houston Rockets, but the Rockets were "unable to get to his number to make a trade work."

Thompson is making $18.5 million this season before becoming a free agent.

The 28-year-old would presumably savor the opportunity to play for a contending team again, and he'd have value for a franchise with championship ambitions. He's averaging 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds through 48 games.

Staying in Cleveland will have one benefit to Thompson since he'll retain his Bird rights, which allows the Cavaliers to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. That provision would evaporate in the event he's bought out.

Chris Fedor @ChrisFedor

This is a HUGE reason why Thompson's camp would like to see him traded, hoping some team values his Bird rights and would re-sign him in the summer to a nice contract. Yes, there are other reasons why too. https://t.co/w1Oq3boB9a

The Cavs could execute a sign-and-trade in the summer, or they could offer Thompson a short-term market-level deal with an eye toward trading him next year.

In the meantime, head coach John Beilein will have to navigate a tricky frontcourt dynamic.

In one of Thursday's most surprising moves, Cleveland acquired Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Assuming Kevin Love is locked into the starting lineup, Drummond or Thompson will have to come off the bench, or Beilein will need to find a way to somehow play them together.

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