Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson is flattered that LeBron James thinks so highly of him but offered no insights regarding his future, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. James expressed hope on Monday that Thompson, a restricted free agent, would remain with the club throughout his career. That was welcome news to Thompson. “I appreciate the compliment, if that’s a compliment, from LeBron,” Thompson said to reporters covering the Eastern Conference Finals. “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.” Thompson turned down a four-year, $52MM offer prior to the season and could get max deal in free agency, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports. The Cavs will have some serious competition to retain Thompson since teams have quietly expressed interest in signing Thompson to an offer sheet, league sources told Haynes. `
In other news regarding the Cavaliers:
- Some of Kyrie Irving‘s teammates may be privately questioning his ability to play with pain after Irving sat out the last two playoff games, according to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Irving has been sidelined by left knee tendinitis. Iman Shumpert, while not overtly targeting Irving, spoke of how players need to push through their pain, Vardon continues. James indicated that Irving’s absence has sapped his energy because he must handle the ball more often. “That takes the wear on your legs throughout the course of the game,” James said during a press conference. Coach David Blatt said Irving’s teammates were not frustrated with him for missing games but just anxious to have him return to action, Vardon adds.
- The league needs to take a harsher stance against Matthew Dellavedova, Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun opines. Dellavedova plays too recklessly, according to Ganter, which leads to too many altercations with opponents. Taj Gibson and Al Horford were ejected from playoff games after incidents involving Dellavedova and Kyle Korver suffered a severely sprained ankle when Dellavedova rolled up on his leg diving for a loose ball. If the NBA fails to crack down on Dellavedova, it could lead to a more serious altercation, Ganter believes.