Thompson to ink new five-year $114m deal with Cavs

CLEVELAND • Tristan Thompson agreed to a new contract on Wednesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ending the most significant player hold-out just days before last season's National Basketball Association (NBA) runners-up open the 2015-16 campaign.

The Cavaliers, sparked by superstar LeBron James, agreed to a five-year deal worth US$82 million (S$114.2 million) for the 24-year-old Canadian power forward, according to multiple newspaper and television reports.

"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," Thompson tweeted with the hashtags HappyToBeBack and ALLin, the latter being the Cavaliers' catch phrase during last season's drive to the Eastern Conference crown.

James had said signing Thompson to a long-term contract was a key priority of the team who lost to the Golden State Warriors in last season's NBA Finals. And the Cavaliers came through ahead of their opener against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

Thompson had been a starter for every game over two seasons until James arrived last season and brought a whirlwind of changes, including forward Kevin Love and big man Timofey Mozgov.

But after starting only 15 regular-season games, Thompson made 15 starts in the play-offs and played a vital role when Love went down with an injury.

The Cavaliers, as a result, will likely have the NBA's highest payroll when the season begins next week at around US$115 million.

Thompson rejected a contract extension for four years at just over US$50 million before last season to test his value as a free agent, but his work through the season made him too valuable for a title-hungry club such as the Cavaliers to let escape.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline 'Thompson to ink new five-year $114m deal with Cavs'. Print Edition | Subscribe