Report: Three teams willing to max out Tristan Thompson next summer

The Tristan Thompson contract debacle has been pretty odd. For the second straight summer, Rich Paul has had a restricted free agent who was all but guaranteed a massive contract -- possibly a max contract -- and hadn't received that deal well into the offseason. With Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns, a resolution didn't happen until late September before teams started holding training camp.

We're approaching a similar situation between Thompson and the Cleveland Cavaliers, although we're not sure if Paul and company are going to be willing to budge off their demands of a max contract. If Thompson ends up signing the one-year qualifying offer with the Cavs, he'll be an unrestricted free agent next summer when the salary cap jumps. According to Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops, sources close to Rich Paul say three teams are willing to max out the Canadian big man if he's available in 2016.

There have long been rumors of the Toronto Raptors trying to create a situation in which to entice Andrew Wiggins to go back home to Canada to play when he's eventually a free agent. Grabbing Thompson after grabbing Cory Joseph -- Wiggins' Canadian National Team running mates -- would be one of the ways in which they could do that. Of course, that's with the assumption that Wiggins actually wants to go play for the Raptors if and when he becomes a free agent -- likely not until 2023 or 2024 with the way rookie extensions typically work.

The other two teams you'd speculate wanting to max out Thompson could really be anybody, if we believe he has that kind of interest around the league. Thompson proved to be a very valuable player in the postseason for the Cavs. He outplayed Paul Millsap in the Eastern Conference finals and was part of the stellar defense of the Cavs all postseason long. Add in him being arguably the best offensive rebounder in the NBA and you can see some real value.

However, the reason it was assumed Thompson was going to get a max deal from the Cavs this summer is because he shares the same agent as LeBron James. The Cavs should want to make LeBron happy and this would be one of those ways. There's still plenty of time to get this figured out on both sides, but if he does go the way of Greg Monroe and signs the qualifying offer, the jump in salary cap by over $20 million next summer could lead to some crazy contracts being handed out.

Tristan Thompson could be pointing to the next team that wants to pay him.(USATSI)
Tristan Thompson could be pointing to the next team that wants to pay him. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Zach Harper likes basketball. Some would even say he loves it. He's also an enthusiast for everything Ricky Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nic Cage, and has seen the movie Gigli almost three times. He's been... Full Bio

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