Kevin Love Tweets Tristan Thompson Contract Should Be Cavaliers' No. 1 Priority

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love, left, and Tristan Thompson give support to teammates from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 116-113. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

If Kevin Love's opinion holds any weight, the Cleveland Cavaliers will attempt to keep Tristan Thompson next season.

The five-time All-Star tweeted that retaining Thompson should be the Cavs' top priority:

Kevin Love @kevinlove

Tristan Thompson should be our #1 priority. Leader.

Love has been teammates with Thompson since the 2014-15 season. Along with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, they were key pieces of the Cavaliers' championship squad in 2015-16.

Thompson can become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career this offseason. The 29-year-old had an extended restricted free agency in the summer of 2015 before signing a five-year, $82 million extension with Cleveland in October.

Even though nothing is official until free agency begins, the Cavs seemed to signal their future direction at center when they acquired Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons in February.

Drummond and Thompson share similar styles of play, and Drummond has already said he plans to use his $28.7 million player option for next season.

Cleveland has $110.7 million in salary on the books for 2020-21 with Drummond's player option factored in, per Basketball Reference. It wouldn't seem to make much sense for a rebuilding franchise to continue adding salary for a season in which it's not expected to compete for a playoff spot.

Thompson averaged a career-high 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds in 57 games during the 2019-20 season, though he doesn't offer three-point range or much shot-blocking and is undersized at 6'9".