Well I’m not sure how this works, but it’s beginning to get a little awkward.

Cleveland Cavaliers free-agent forward Tristan Thompson did not accept nor sign a one-year, $6.8 million qualifying offer for the 2015-16 season by Thursday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline, according to ESPN.com.

Thompson remains a restricted free agent, and negotiations between his representative, Rich Paul, and the Cavs will now continue with only a few possible outcomes remaining to get Thompson back in his familiar No. 13 jersey in Cleveland and end the standoff that has already caused him to miss the first three days of training camp.

With the one-year option off the table — Thompson can no longer unilaterally accept the qualifying offer at that rate unless the Cavs choose to make it available again — negotiations will shift toward both sides coming to terms on a multiyear deal.

Paul recently vacated a five-year, $94 million max contract demand for his client in favor of a preferred three-year, $53 million deal, per league sources. The Cavs have already tendered a five-year, $80 million offer to Thompson, according to sources.

Thompson can still wind up signing the qualifying offer at $6.8 million, the Cavs just have to offer it again. He can sign a one-year deal or pursue a deal from another team.

By Glenn Erby


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