With LeBron James openly pleading with the Cleveland Cavaliers to add depth to their thinned rotation in a capped-out environment, some have lobbed questions back at LeBron himself. After all, some surmise that Cavs teammates Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith – both represented by LeBron friend and agent Rich Paul – were overpaid at James’ behest.
Not surprisingly, Thompson vehemently disagrees.
“I earned my money,” Thompson told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “LeBron’s not my agent. I earned my money doing what I do; you can ask anyone around the league.”
As a restricted free agent, Thompson held out until the eve of the 2015-16 season, signing a five-year, $82-million contract with the Cavs.
“I opened doors for other guys,” Thompson added. “It’s a business, and you get paid what the market value is for you. I got my money and opened up doors for other guys that play hard and do the little things.”
To be fair to Thompson, his contract is a veritable bargain under the current salary cap, and his value to the Cavaliers is noteworthy. While he’s only averaging 7.5 points a game, his rebounding, defense, and screening is crucial to the Cavs.
“For me, the way I judge a game is what I do on the defensive end,” the Khloe Kardashian sweetheart said. “That’s what my calling is, right? So, making it tough for (Steven) Adams, keeping him from getting a double-double, it’s a good game. Obviously the scoring, that’s extra, that’s a cherry on top.”