If the following reports are, in fact, to be believed …
what becomes readily apparent is that
the people charged with running things in Chicago – i.e. Jerry Reinsdorf, John Paxson and Gar Forman - have temporarily lost their mind, if they simply want to ”give away” a player like Tyrus Thomas [23 yrs of age; 4th NBA season], either, now [as the NBA's trade deadline approaches], or at the end of this season.
When you look at the significant progress which a player like Josh Smith [24 yrs of age; 6th NBA season] has made this season, as a young, unbridled Power Forward, with the world of talent but, also, the need for increased personal discipline in his individual game … it’s extremely short-sighted of Chicago’s current management team to fail to realize exactly what they actually have on their hands in the form of:
* young Mr. Double T
working [and maturing] in conjunction with
* Joakim Noah/C [24 years of age]
* Luol Deng/SF [24 yrs of age]
* John Salmons/OG-SF [30 yrs of age]
* Taj Gibson/PF [24 years of age]
* James Johnson/SF-PF [22 yrs of age]
* Kirk Hinrich/OG-PG [29 years of age], and
* Derrick Rose/PG [21 yrs of age].
Trading a still-young player with Tyrus Thomas’ physical ability and specific skill-set [i.e. Rebounding, Defense, Shot-blocking and an Increasingly Developed Offensive Repertoire] is one thing …
as long as an organization gets back, in return, an equivalent package of assets, or more …
but, simply giving that player away … for nothing:
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.
The Bulls not only acted as if he was ready, but he was also added to the Chicago roster at the start of Scott Skiles’ weird passive-aggressive phase. When Skiles – who often seems like a perfect mix of the best qualities of Larry Brown and Don Nelson – started utilizing the worst qualities of Larry Brown and Don Nelson. The strange rotations. The stubbornness. The attention to obsession, rather than detail.
Thomas played less than a year and a half under Skiles, but it may have well been two years. Because Skiles was replaced on an interim basis by Jim Boylan, a pointless move in retrospect, because Boylan was Skiles’ number two, and he promptly spent the entirety of his obviously-interim gig taking out Skiles’ indirect frustrations with certain players out on the kids who had wronged Boylan’s buddy the most.
So Thomas would leave the game, for long stretches, for no apparent reason. And, just as much, he would stay in the game for no apparent reason. Almost to a night, the good play would go unrewarded, and the bad play would go unacknowledged. How in the hell was this kid, this man, supposed to learn?
Left to his own devices, the project acted like – and I know you’re shocked – a project. Until it was/is time for Chicago to write off another cheapo lottery pick, and take in the savings.
It didn’t have to be like this. And, potential suitors? Thomas doesn’t have to be like this.
“He’s so athletic that he affects the game when he’s engaged,” John Salmons said. “He gets his hands on balls, rebounds, puts back shots. When he masters that, he really helps us.”
Salmons’ answer proved far more expansive than those from Thomas, who entered just 2:18 after tipoff and played the next 14:46. That’s close Thomas’ playing time from each of his last three games, which led to his frustration and blow-up.
Before the game, Thomas said he had “no regrets” about the incident and “there’s nothing to be frustrated about.” Afterward, he addressed his night, which included him grabbing three rebounds and playing six minutes before his first shot — a strong drive and score after passing up a jumper.
“I felt good,” he said. “I was just playing ball, trying to win, working for the team. I’m always ready to play. The more you’re out there, the more you can do.”
makes absolutely no sense … except, perhaps, from a $$$ standpoint … if the ultimate goal there is actually trying to win the NBA Championship, again, in the not-too-distant future.
With their current cast of characters, it would be a mistake for the Bulls to think that what their team actually needs to do this summer is add 2 high-priced, free agent signees … when all Chicago really needs is:
1. To add THE right player, and
2. Give their existing collection of players a legitimate chance to grow and develop together,
3. Under the direction of a truly Top Notch NBA coach.
Bulls not lacking for Thomas suitors [Feb 11 2010]