The Dallas Mavericks have waived Tim Thomas. He played just 18 games for the team last year and will not be with the team this season as he attends to a family situation that takes priority.
But he wants to be back next season, he told Zagsblog.com.
“I’m definitely planning on being back next year,” Thomas, a Paterson, N.J. native who spent one year at Villanova, said Wednesday by phone.
“The situation is that my wife [Tricia] has a few things that she has to take care of. Just the timing was bad. I don’t want people to think she’s on her deathbed or anything like that. She had some things to take care of and she just wanted me to be home [in Los Angeles] when she had to go through them.”
Thomas is a 13-year NBA veteran coming off knee surgery, but there are teams that would be interested in a floor-spreading big man who is a stable influence in the locker room. He’s going to have to prove he can still contribute, but if he can there is still a roster spot for him on a contender.
Brian Cardinal — the 10-year NBA veteran who played in just 29 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season — is being eyed by the Dallas Mavericks to fill the Tim Thomas slot.
Bobby Simmons and Steve Novak are in the running, but Cardinal is the front runner, according to Art Garcia at NBA.com. Dallas expected to have Tim Thomas as a forward deep off the bench, but he has decided to stay home and tend to his family and ailing wife.
Cardinal is coming off an oversized contract (given him by the Grizzlies) and has never been a show stopper — not even at Purdue — but he has NBA experience, a good shooting range and a good work ethic. He should fit in with the Dallas locker room, if they go that direction. He could provide a little depth behind Dirk Nowitzki.
Just a week ago, Tim Thomas was talking about how he wanted to be back with Dallas, to help them win a title and to show his loyalty to them for the Mavs’ support of Thomas while he was away helping his sick wife.
But the reality of those family issues continue to take priority for Thomas. As they should.
He will not be back playing with the Mavericks this season, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
This could mean retirement for Thomas after a 13-year NBA career. He is not disclosing his wife’s exact medical situation, wishing to keep that private.
If he does step away for the season, the league will likely let the Mavericks void the contract as not to impact their luxury tax situation.
Tim Thomas only played in 18 games for Dallas last seasons. When he did he gave them some solid veteran play off the bench, and 7.5 points in just under 16 minutes.
For the first part of the year, Thomas was recovering from knee surgery. But he talked with NBA.com’s Alex Garcia about the second half, when Thomas needed time to take care of his family and ill wife.
“It was about taking care of my wife, but I watched basketball as much as I could and I always kept up with what Dallas was doing,” he said. “I reached out to everybody right before the playoffs and wished everybody well.
“Of course I watched the playoff games and thought about situations where I could have helped. It was tough to know that the guys were going to war and I wasn’t there to help, but at the same time everybody was reaching out with their prayers for my wife.”
Thomas said he got an outpouring of support from throughout the Mavericks organization. So while he could have looked around, Thomas said he wanted to come back to the Mavs, to repay them for the understanding and care they had shown him.
“I wanted to come back and help my team, but things happened in the household,” he said. “The team allowed me to go and to try to work things out. When things started going downhill, they allowed me to stay home and take care of what’s most important — your family. I really appreciate that from them. I’m happy that everything worked out as far as my wife’s health.”
This season will be the 14th in the NBA for the 33-year-old.
Tim Thomas played just 18 games for Dallas last year – there was knee surgery at the start of the season and having to leave the team to tend to his ailing wife for the second half of the season.
Thomas wants to return to Dallas this season and expects to get an offer, he told the Bergen Record.
“Last year obviously didn’t go the way I hoped it would go, but things happen for a reason,” said Thomas, who has averaged 11.5 points and 4.1 rebounds during his NBA career in which he has played for seven teams. “The people in that organization know I can help them, and I’m just looking forward to getting the chance to do that again…”
“The most important thing for me at this point, at my age and [going on] 14 years in the league, is to put myself in a situation where I have a chance to win a championship,” Thomas, 33, said. “Dallas is that type of situation.”
He will most likely get that offer a one-year, veteran’s minimum offer from Dallas.
He would play a handful of minutes behind Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, but he is a good veteran to have on the bench. Thomas played well in the 18 games he did play for Dallas last season, maybe his best play in five years or more. He shot 37 percent from three, and remains a “stretch four” that can be used to create matchup problems for some teams.