Love: Re-signing Thompson should be Cavs' No. 1 priority; Nance agrees

Author:
Updated:
Original:

If nothing else, at least Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has teammates Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. in his corner.

Thompson has been a member of the Cavs since he was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick back in 2011. But that run is at risk, as Thompson will become one of the more coveted unrestricted free agents this offseason.

According to Love, though, bringing back Thompson is of utmost importance.

"Tristan Thompson should be our #1 priority," Love tweeted. "Leader."

Nance Jr. retweeted that take with a take of his own.

"If you know basketball you’d understand how important a guy like TT is," Nance wrote.

Not to be outdone, former Cavs big man Channing Frye joined the conversation, responding to Love with a video of strong support.

Thompson, 29, is the longest-tenured member of the Cavs, a key member of the 2016 title-winning team,. But after adding center Andre Drummond in February, the Cavs' plans for Thompson became somewhat murky.

Word is, they would love to have him back and he apparently is more than open to a return.

But as is always the case, it will all come down to numbers. Or more specifically, the next contract offer.

The Cavs love his relentless work on the boards. They appreciate his leadership. They admire the pride he takes on defense and how he constantly aims to get better, even as a man who has won a championship and has already accomplished plenty.

"I got drafted here and I won a championship here. I have great memories here," he told SI before the season. "I am a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and it is my job to punch the clock and come to work every day for the organization. That is how I approach it."

Thompson added it will all come down to what the people who make the big basketball decisions.

"There are people who get paid for the business side -- (agent) Rich Paul and (Cavs GM) Koby Altman and others," Thompson told SI. "That business stuff is all for them. For me, it's about just being a player. You know? Don't overstep your boundries. Just play basketball, and let the guys you pay to be businessmen do their jobs."

Right now, all we can be sure of is one thing, and that's the fact Love, Nance and likely others have Thompson's back.

Thompson averaged 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds this past season. The Cavs (19-46) are tied for the best odds to win the No. 1 overall draft pick in this week's lottery. Where they land could play a role in what happens next to Thompson.

The draft is scheduled for Oct. 16 with free agency slated for a couple days after that.