As expected, it's now official: the Bulls won't give Tyrus Thomas an extension, and will let him become a free agent next summer.Per Adrian Wojnarowski:
With no more contract extension talks planned with the Chicago Bulls, forward Tyrus Thomas will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, Yahoo! Sports has confirmed.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman and Thomas' agent, Brian Elfus, had discussed broad parameters of a contract extension in recent months, but both sides said there won't be any more talks prior to the Monday deadline.
(more at the link)
The article states that Tyrus will become a restricted free agent in the summer, and Tyrus himself has said that he'll have his qualifying offer "if all else fails." But is there a chance, albeit remote, that he won't have one after all?
Until he signs a contract, be it with the Bulls or an offer sheet with someone else, Thomas's cap hold will be for the maximum salary for a player with four year's experience. The maximum salary for next season won't be calculated until the July Moratorium (that's what it's for; doing all the maths and stuff), but to give you an example of what it will be, this season it measures in at $13,520,500.
That amount will count against the Bulls' salary figure - and thus, their cap space - until Tyrus either signs an offer sheet with another team (at which point, the first year's salary of the offer sheet is his new cap hold), re-signs with us (at which point, the first year's salary of the new contract is his new cap hold) or he is renouned (at which point he has no cap hold at all). Therefore, if the impossible becomes possible and the Bulls are able to score one of the maximum salaried free agents on the market - Bosh, Wade, Rasual Butler, etc - then Tyrus' cap hold becomes a problem.
Definitely click and read the full article, as it details what the Bulls will need to do to offer a 2010 FA a maximum contract. The Bulls will be faced with some difficult decisions (and cap maneuvering) next summer.