Tuesday May 26th, 2015

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James wants his teammate Tristan Thompson to have a long career with the team, saying there is no reason why Cleveland shouldn’t keep him for the long term.

Thompson will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season after reportedly turning down a four-year, $52 million contract extension before the season started.

“Tristan should probably be a Cavalier for his whole career," James said. “This guy is 24 years old, he's played in 340-plus straight games, and he's gotten better every single season. It's almost like 'What more can you ask out of a guy?'"

The Cavaliers selected Thompson with the No. 4 pick in 2011 NBA draft, and he has played in 301 straight games, a current streak that is only second to Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

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"He's a young guy, but he's a professional that loves to come to work every day," James said. "He plays his heart out every single night, and he has zero sense of entitlement in this league. All he cares about is coming into work. Whatever is given to him, he relishes the opportunity, and he's a great teammate. So he'll be here for a long time."

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Thompson is averaging 8.9 points on 57% shooting with 9.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this postseason, all improvements over his regular season numbers (8.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game).

"I appreciate the compliment, if that's a compliment, from LeBron," Thompson said. "I'm just here to work, to just come into work and do what the team asks of me—whether it's on the court, off the court, in the community—and just be a professional."

- Scooby Axson

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