We’ve talked before about how the Chicago Bulls do a terrible job of getting something out of their high draft picks, back when Tyrus Thomas was rumored to be heading to the Knicks for Al Harrington. Basically, if you’re a high draft pick, you don’t want to be drafted by the Bulls.
One benching and outburst later, Thomas is back on the trading block, and this time, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, there are several suitors.
The Charlotte Bobcats bid Acie Law, Flip Murray and their 2010 first-round pick, a league executive said. The Bobcats have been searching for a long, athletic forward like Thomas, the fourth pick in the 2007 draft, and are expected to be aggressive pursuers. Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard made an offer they’ll have to improve upon to be taken seriously – one of his expiring contracts (Steve Blake or Travis Outlaw) and two future second-round draft picks.
The New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets are among the multiple teams who’ve spoken to Chicago about Thomas. The Bulls are telling people that they have several teams willing to offer first-round picks – in 2010 or beyond.
The Bulls want to get something for Thomas before they need to relinquish his rights in free agency to clear up maximum cap room to sign a big free agent, so it’s understandable why they want to move him. Still, doesn’t it say something that so many teams want Thomas? Charlotte’s offering a pretty good haul for someone like him (though it should be noted that the specific trade Wojnarowski throws out there is impossible because Charlotte already traded their 2010 first-round pick), and there are tons of other teams interested.
It speaks to how much talent Thomas has and how much teams feel his struggles have a lot to do with his environment rather than anything he did. Yahoo! Sports’ Kelly Dwyer touched on this yesterday.
I can’t think of a single player, with the possible exception of New York’s David Lee, that has been jerked around more than Thomas. And I can’t think of a single player, with no exception, that has acted like more of a prat than Tyrus. A nasty combination.
One doesn’t lead to the other, but it doesn’t help. Thomas was drafted as a project by the Bulls in 2006, but he was never treated like a project. Instead, he was treated like some four-year college starter that had been on CBS too many times to mention, and someone who was used to the grind. Thomas wasn’t used to the grind. He was a basketball scrub until his late teens. He only had one year of slapping the backboards at LSU. He was ready, but he wasn’t ready.
Dwyer goes on to right that it’s a “near certainty” Thomas will be a very helpful piece for his next team. I won’t go that far, because I’ve seen firsthand (Kwame Brown) how a player can have his career ruined by the experience he had in his first professional organization, but Thomas is certainly a great buy-low candidate for a lot of teams.