Everyone understood Chicago executives are now determined to move Thomas, and a clear price has been established for suitors: Expiring contracts and a 2010 or future first-round draft pick, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Bulls are also exploring ways to package Thomas with guard Kirk Hinrich to free themselves of his contract.
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.
Bulls management is telling teams they expect to take the bidding right to the Feb. 18 deadline. The Bulls want to avoid the possibility of Thomas accepting a $6.2 million qualifying offer on the eve of this summer's free agency, which would deliver a major dent to their salary-cap space. Thomas, 23, will be a restricted free agent this summer.
The Bulls are desperate to recruit Miami's Dwyane Wade back to his hometown, but one source familiar with Wade's thinking says he's "far less" inclined to bolt Miami unless Chicago has the ability to sign a "significant" free agent to join him.
If the Bulls can get an Acie Law, flip Murray, and the Bobcats 1st that would be a nice deal. The only problem with that is the Bobcats can't trade their 1st round pick which sort of nixes the value of this rumor doesn't it? They already owe it conditionally to the Timberwolves, and if they don't have to pay off the condition then they still can't move it because they might owe it next year [violating the multiple years in a row clause]. The clause has so much protection that the Bobcats can't trade a future 1st rounder at all until next year, so it can't even be a pick in the future. So we can pretty much shoot down this rumor right away, but thanks for playing Mr. Wojnarowski.
If Portland offers up Travis Outlaw for Tyrus straight up then I'm sold. If they throw in some second rounders [and seriously, Portland is the last team that needs a bunch of second rounders to try and fill out it's roster, so they might be willing] then I'm really, really sold. The Bulls should really be looking to acquire second round picks in this draft, because it's a deep draft so the odds of getting a player are decent and because they won't have the cap holds of 1st rounders using up their 2010 cap space they want to keep open.
Count me as extremely excited about Travis Outlaw + 2nds for Tyrus Thomas. If the Bulls move Kirk Hinrich in another deal then count me really excited about Steve Blake + 2nds for Tyrus Thomas, as the Bulls will need a backup PG, and Blake is capable. You could also use him along side Derrick as a spot up shooter.
If the Bulls really have an offer for expirings plus a 1st rounder that may be a decent trade opportunity. The downside to taking on a first is this trade actually shrinks the Bulls cap space next season.
If may not be that big a deal as they could probably trade their 1st rounder before they sign him to another team, and the cap his is relatively small, but depending how the rest of the trade deadline goes, the salary cap, and Salmons opt out, acquiring 1st rounders could actually be the difference between having room and not.
Mark down Adrian Wojnarowski as another media guy who mentions the Bulls displaying an irrational fear of Tyrus accepting his QO immediately. Maybe they do have such a fear, but I can't imagine why. The Bulls don't need to give him the QO, and it's really, REALLY hard to imagine Tyrus accepting it without playing the market first if they did.
In their case though, I can't imagine them offering him the QO in the first place. It's plain as day that they don't want to keep him would any team really do a S&T with Tyrus to pay him more money for fear of the Bulls matching a contract offer? If I were a GM and the Bulls tried to tell me behind closed doors to offer something up or we'll match then I'd laugh my ass off at them.
Anyway, given impossibility of the leading part of this rumor, I'm somewhat skeptical of the information as a whole.