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Cavs' Thompson considered a holdout after failing to show up to practice again

Akron Beacon Journal

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio _ Tristan Thompson was absent from Cavaliers practice for the fourth day on Friday and the optimism surrounding his situation might be starting to dim.tmpplchld Thompson is now officially considered a holdout after refusing to sign a one-year qualifying offer, and when this contract stalemate ends is now anyone's guess.tmpplchld LeBron James twice this week expressed optimism a long-term deal would be reached sooner than later and general manager David Griffin told NBA TV on Thursday he was expecting to see Thompson on Friday. None of that has happened to this point as the two sides remain apart on a long-term contract.tmpplchld "Right now my thoughts are just about the guys that are here and how hard and how well they are working," Cavs coach David Blatt said Friday. "We've got to focus on the now and here and that's what we're doing."tmpplchld Blatt conceded he was asleep when Thursday's 11:59 p.m. deadline passed with no agreement. Sleepless nights for both sides might be forthcoming, however, after Thompson seemingly forfeited whatever leverage he had by refusing to sign the qualifying offer.tmpplchld Thompson's camp had threatened over the summer that if they were forced to take the qualifying offer worth less than $7 million, Thompson would leave Cleveland next summer as an unrestricted free agent. Nothing has budged the Cavaliers, however, off their refusal to give Thompson max money in either a full five-year deal or a shorter three-year deal that Thompson's side reportedly proposed.tmpplchld With the deadline of the qualifying offer now removed, the possibility exists this stalemate could drag into the regular season just as Anderson Varejao's negotiation did eight years ago.tmpplchld Aside from twice predicting a quick resolution to this standoff, James has stayed far away from Thompson's situation. Rich Paul and Mark Termini represent both Thompson and James and the long-held belief was that James would flex his significant power to try to complete Thompson's deal. That has yet to occur.tmpplchld In fact, James cut off a question about Thompson this week and said he was done talking about it. James was not asked about Thompson on Friday, but earlier this week gave a strong endorsement for Paul, a childhood friend who has helped manage the superstar's business affairs the past couple years.tmpplchld "About 12 years ago when I decided to part ways with my agent 1/8Aaron Goodwin3/8, there were 150 million articles about how I was making a mistake to hire the people around me that I trusted: Maverick 1/8Carter3/8, Rich and Randy 1/8Mims3/8 and start LRMR and how everything would fall to pieces," James said. "Those pieces have made a beautiful portrait at this point."tmpplchld tmpplchld ___tmpplchld (c)2015 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)tmpplchld Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.comtmpplchld Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.tmpplchld

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