Contract Forecast: Tristan Thompson

Contract Forecast: Tristan Thompson
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Contract Forecast: Tristan Thompson

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In a recent days it has come out that Tristan Thompson, 24, has rejected the early agreed upon 5 year $80 million contract due to his positional peers having received more once the free agency period become official. Thompson, having finished out his 4 year $16.8 million contract and currently a Restricted Free Agent, could sign his Qualifying Offer of $6,777,589, play out the season and become an Unrestricted Free Agent in July 2016. While Thompson is now seeking an average of more than the $16 million the Cavaliers are already more than $3 million over the Lux Tax Threshold. The Qualifying Offer would put the Cleveland payroll at nearly $95.4 million, $10.7 million over the Lux Tax.

 

We'll focus on Thompson's positional peers who have recently signed lucrative deals as extension or within free agency who also have similar ages. Comparable players have six or less year experience and were eligible for the 25% cap maximum salaries as to not skew the projection for those players who were eligible for the 30% or 35% of the cap.

Comparable Centers/Power Forwards
Now 24 years old, Thompson is about the same age as than many of our variable centers/power forwards at the time of their signings. We'll adjust his contract accordingly, then to determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
DeMarcus Cousins 4 $65,619,700 $16,404,925 24
Blake Griffin 5 $94,538,626 $18,907,725 24
Draymon Green 4 $82,000,000 $16,400,000 25
Greg Monroe 3 $51,437,513 $17,145,838 25
Enes Kanter 4 $70,060,026 $17,515,007 23
Averages 4.5 $78,054,588 $17,345,464 24

Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Centers in the NBA
View the list of Top Average Paid Power Forwards in the NBA

 

Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
5 $86,915,368 $17,383,074

Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the years prior to signing their second contract by comparing Games Played, Points/Game, Blocks/Game, Reb/Game, Field Goal Percentage/Game and Free Throw Percentange/Game between our variables and Thompson.
Player Games/Year Pts/G blk/g reb/g fg%/G ft%/G
DeMarcus Cousins (2010/11-2011/12, SAC) 69.5 17.6 0.9 10.4 .457 .721
Blake Griffin (2010/11-2011/12, LAC) 74 21.7 0.6 11.5 .524 .593
Draymon Green (2013/14-2014/15, GSW) 80.5 8.9 1.1 6.6 .430 .663
Greg Monroe (2013/14-2014/15, DET) 75.5 15.5 0.5 9.7 .500 .701
Enes Kanter (2013/14-2014/15, UTH/OKC) 77.5 13.9 0.5 8.2 .506 .758
Averages 75.4 15.52 .72 9.28 .483 .687
Tristan Thompson (2013/14-2014/15, CLE) 82 10.1 0.6 8.6 .504 .671
% Difference 8.75% -34.92% -16.67% -7.33% 4.43% -2.36%
AVERAGE PRIME %: -8.01%
MEDIAN PRIME % -4.84%

Thompson's overall production is below the average of most of our variables here, except for Free Throw % and consistently being on the court. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.

Results

Length of the Contract
Our variable center/power forward contracts averaged out to 5 years. Thompson's complaint is not with the length but with the $80 million offer he had received; therefore, we will base all values on 5 years.

Value of the Contract
LeBron James came out in May and said Thompson should be a Cavalier for his entire career. Whether or not that means Thompson should be a max or close to max remains to be seen. A 5 year maximum contract for a four year veteran would be approximately $94.3 million. Financially and statistically speaking, Thompson is not a max player; however, Clevland was on track with their offer of $16 million average that he rejected. We'll break out our MEDIAN and AVERAGE figures:

Low Value (HOMETOWN DISCOUNT)
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (-8.01%), we're forecasting Thompson as the 7th highest average paid Center:
5 years, $82,500,000 | $16,500,000 per year
High Value (MAX-VALUE DEAL)
Utilizing our Average Prime Percentage (-4.84%), we're forecasting Thompson as the 7th highest average paid Center:
5 years, $85,300,000 | $17,060,000 per year

We'll split the difference to offer the best-value forecast for Thompson's next contract:
Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $83,900,000

Average Salary:  $16,780,000



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