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News » Thomas, Bulls part ways again

Thomas, Bulls part ways again

Thomas, Bulls part ways again
Apparently, the Bulls and Tim Thomas are not meant for a long-term relationship.

The Bulls negotiated a contract settlement and released the veteran forward Tuesday, which will give the team some extra room below the luxury-tax threshold. Thomas joined the Bulls on Feb. 19 from New York in the Larry Hughes trade.

When Thomas joined the Bulls (also from New York) in the 2005 Eddy Curry trade, he was sent home less than a month into the regular season and waived following the trade deadline. History didn?t quite repeat itself this time, but close to it.

Thomas appeared in 20 games for the Bulls last season, including playoffs, averaging 5.8 points.

The 6-foot-10 small forward was due to make $6.4 million next season. The buyout is believed to be in the $2 million range. The benefit for Thomas is that he?s now free to find a new home next season instead of waiting for the Bulls to trade his expiring contract.

The Bulls felt Thomas was expendable because they still have a similar expiring contract with center Jerome James, who will make $6.6 million and likely become trade bait.

Brad Miller is in the final year of his contract worth $12.25 million, but the Bulls expect Miller to play a role next season and maybe beyond.

With the addition of guard Jannero Pargo and the expected return of veteran Lindsey Hunter for another season, the Bulls ? payroll would have been right at the luxury-tax threshold of $69.9 million.

The Thomas buyout gives them another $2 million cushion that could be used to re-sign center Aaron Gray, add another low-cost player, or perhaps absorb salary in a trade for Utah?s Carlos Boozer.

Johnson shines in summer: First-round draft pick James Johnson had a nice debut in the Las Vegas summer league on Tuesday, finishing with 21 points and 8 rebounds, while hitting 9 of 13 shots from the field.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Wake Forest was the No. 16 pick of the first round. The Bulls ? other first-round pick, 6-10 forward Taj Gibson, recorded 14 points and 12 rebounds but also 9 fouls as rules are bent for the summer season.

The Bulls lost to Golden State 95-83, however, because they had no answer for second-year forward Anthony Randolph, who piled up 42 points and went to the foul line 21 times. The Bulls face Milwaukee today at 5 p.m. in Las Vegas.

Big Ben bought out: Tim Thomas wasn?t the only NBA player who agreed to a contract settlement. Phoenix released former Bulls center Ben Wallace, who was acquired from Cleveland in the Shaquille O?Neal deal.

Wallace could have been heading into the final year of the $60 million free-agent contract he signed with the Bulls in 2006. According to The Arizona Republic, Wallace accepted $10 of the $14 million he was owed.

Bulls host golf outing: Spots still are available for the Bulls /Verizon Wireless Charity Golf Outing on Monday, Aug. 17, at White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville. The event will include players, coaches, broadcasters, the Luvabulls, Benny the Bull and more. Detailed information can be found at

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 16, 2009


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