A source close to the Chicago Bulls organization told us yesterday it looks like the Bulls will not extend Tyrus Thomas before the Oct. 31 deadline and I assume he also meant they will let him walk next off season when he becomes a restricted free agent.
With the summer of 2010 looming and the bevy of talented free agents available the Bulls seem content on letting the uber talented big man go via free agency.
The Bulls took Thomas, 23, with the fourth pick overall in 2006 ahead of Brandon Roy and have not received much in return but Thomas has always flashed brilliance and was a reason why they battled the Celtics last season.
It is safe to say if he had stayed all four years at LSU he would have battled Blake Griffin for the #1 spot last season and Tyrus will produce his best season this year.
Thomas is going to make it tough on Bulls management if he shines in his contract year and the Bulls have no plans of resigning him. They already screwed up not taking Roy and now they may screw it up again by not resigning the freakishly athletic spaz Ty Thomas is.
I guess we should have seen this coming after the Bulls drafted not one, but two players to replace TT in this year's draft. Two possibilities that could make me remotely OK with this decision: (a) TT wanted money similar to what the Blazers just gave LmA. LmA was not worth that contract, so there's now way TT is worth it; (b) The Bulls are hoping all the teams with money next summer spend on big names, then someone tries to low-ball TT to an offer-sheet. The Bulls then match and have him signed to a reasonable contract.
***** UPDATE *****
Might as well throw Kmart's rant here:
"This was my issue with the Ben Gordon situation. It wasn't so much that we chose not to re-sign Ben, but the handling of the entire situation from start to finish pretty much killed my faith in the franchise. The writing for this has been on the wall for a few years now. Sitting Tyrus in key moments in games, forcing him to come off the bench, agressively shopping him on the market, low balling him with early contract extentions, and benching him for the rest of the Celtics series after his breakout Game 1 (most of the time while Brad Miller was dying on the court gasping for breath)
In one way or another this is pretty much exactly what they did to Gordon, all while throwing money and the good soldiers Luol and Kirk.
The Bulls drafted BG and told us that he was a short offensive scorer who might have trouble on defense. Then spent the next 5 years complaining about his defense and how short he was. The Bulls drafted Tyrus and told us how raw and untrained his basketball game was, then spent his entire time with the organization complaining about how he was too raw and had zero ball IQ.
The fact that this organization sees nothing wrong with letting Top 5 draft picks walk for nothing baffles me. I hate the Bulls.
And DC's response:
"letting BG go was the right decision. You can't overpay players like that...especially in the current economic conditions of the NBA. Why do you think the Celtics are balking at signing Rondo for the max? $12 mil for BG is a foolish contract that would handcuff the Bulls.
Saying the front office knew they were getting a limited player so their decision to not overpay that limited player years later after his inability to add any dimensions to his game shouldn't be a poor reflection on the franchise, if anything it shows improved judgment...I'm sure they're all relieved he didn't take the big contract when it was originally offered.
As far as TT is concerned, I'm not pleased at all about this decision. On a team lacking big men, you can't give up your most athletic and explosive player. He hasn't made the leap he needs to yet, but I wanted to find out if he could in a Bulls uniform and not find out on the Sportscenter Top 10 in a different one."