While discussing his initiative to offer full scholarships to the University of Akron to kids who complete his 'I Promise', LeBron James was predictably asked about Tristan Thompson and stressed that the Cavs need to re-sign Thompson.
"Our No. 1 objective right now is to sign Tristan," James said. "He's a huge part of our team. Short term and long term he makes our team more dangerous."
"Things need to be worked out from his side and the Cavs, but we need him back," James continued. "I think our front office has done a great job this summer. The next step is to get Tristan done."
Thompson, who is a restricted free agent, and the Cavs are reportedly far apart in negotiations. Thompson is reportedly looking for a max deal worth a total of $94 million and the Cavs are offering far less due to the luxury tax implications of offering Thompson such a large deal.
Last week, Rich Paul - who is both James and Thompson's agent - said that Thompson will leave the Cavs if forced to sign the one-year qualifying offer that made him a restricted free agent. If Thompson signs the qualifying offer, he would be an unrestricted free agent next summer when the cap rises and max salaries go up.
James also discussed the meeting he had in Los Angeles with Kevin Love, who re-signed with the Cavs this summer after much speculation about his future in Cleveland. James described the meeting positively, saying that Love will be 'great' this year and he also noted that he expects Love to be fully healed from the shoulder injury he suffered against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs.
"[Love} wanted to have a sit down with me and talk about everything," James said. "He wanted to talk about the season, what could happen with the team going forward. I was absolutely open to it. I was one of the people that wanted him there when we made the trade last summer. The fact that he committed to us let me know the type of guy we have."