According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls are no longer interested in retaining Tyrus Thomas after his latest tirade against coach Vinny Del Negro. It doesn’t look like Thomas will ever live up to his potential as a #2 overall pick, and the Bulls aren’t willing to manage Thomas’ ego anymore.
The root of Thomas’ latest misbehavior was his dissatisfaction at being replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Taj Gibson, who took Thomas’ spot when Thomas was sidelined with an injury. Thomas has played well at times in a reserve role, but he seems unwilling to accept coming off the bench.
The Bulls will almost definitely attempt to find someone to take Thomas off their hands before the trade deadline. It will be interesting to see if they can find any takers. Thomas is a very athletic player capable of contributing to a successful team, particularly on the defensive end. However, he doesn’t have the talent or stability to be a core piece on a rebuilding team, and his attitude makes it unlikely that a contending team would try to utilize him as a role player.
Stranger things have happened than Thomas figuring it out and getting with the program after a change of scenery. Rasheed Wallace did help the Pistons get over the championship hump not that long ago, and the Nuggets certainly don’t regret picking up J.R. Smith when the Bulls didn’t want to deal with his off-court issues.
There are a few contenders who could use the athleticism and defensive punch that Thomas is capable of bringing. The question is whether or not any of them are willing to take a gamble on the erratic personality of the 23-year old.