Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has insisted that he thinks Tristan Thompson should be with the franchise for the rest of his career.
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Thompson becomes a restricted free agent this summer, and so it remains to be seen where his future lies with the Cavs ultimately having the advantage over their rivals.
While he shares the same agent as James, the Cavs star turned down a reported four-year contract extension offer worth $52m back in October before the season started.
Since then, Thompson has established himself as a key component of the team with his defensive presence and rebounding skills playing a vital role in their march towards a championship this season and that in turn should result in a much bigger offer this summer.
His effort hasn’t gone unnoticed with James hopeful that the pair remain teammates for a long time.
“Tristan should probably be a Cavalier for his whole career. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t,” James told reporters, according to ESPN.
The 24-year-old finished fifth in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting after averaging 8.5 points while shooting a career-high 54.7 percent from the field to go with 8.0 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game.
Thompson was drafted with the No.4 overall pick in 2011, and he continues to develop his game each year. However, his work-rate and hustle are arguably the biggest factors in his favour and he has also grown into a beast in terms of offensive rebounds.
The Cavs star said he appreciated James’ comments and compliments, but insisted that he just continues to come in and work to improve himself and help his team win.
His impressive numbers have continued in the playoffs as he currently averages 8.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in nine games as the Cavs are on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals as they lead the Atlanta Hawks 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.