Players > Retired > Tyrus Thomas
Tyrus Thomas
PF - 6'10, 225lbs - 37 years old - 8 years of NBA experience
Retired - Retired after 2016 season
  • Birthdate: 08/17/1986
  • Drafted (NBA): 4th pick, 2006
  • Pre-draft team: LSU
  • Country: USA
  • Hand: Right
  • Agent: -
2006 NBA DraftNBADrafted 4th overall by Portland.
2006 NBA DraftNBADraft rights traded by Portland, along with Viktor Khryapa, to Chicago in exchange for the draft rights to LaMarcus Aldridge (#2) and a 2007 second round pick (#53, Demetris Nichols).
1st August, 2006NBASigned four year, $15,259,558 rookie scale contract with Chicago. Included team options for 2008/09 and 2009/10.
19th October, 2007NBAChicago exercised 2008/09 team option.
24th October, 2008NBAChicago exercised 2009/10 team option.
18th February, 2010NBATraded by Chicago to Charlotte in exchange for Flip Murray, Acie Law, and a 2012 protected first round pick (deferred to 2014; #16, Jusuf Nurkic).
12th July, 2010NBARe-signed by Charlotte to a five year, $40 million contract.
10th July, 2013NBAWaived by Charlotte via the amnesty clause.
13th January, 2015D-LeagueAcquired by Iowa Energy.
22nd January, 2015NBASigned a 10 day contract with Memphis.
3rd February, 2015D-LeagueRe-acquired by Iowa Energy.
4th September, 2015GermanySigned a one year contract with Bremerhaven.
26th February, 2016GermanyReleased by Bremerhaven.
Career Moves
2004 - 2006LSU (NCAA)
June 2006 - February 2010Chicago Bulls (NBA)
February 2010 - July 2013Charlotte Bobcats (NBA)
January 2015Iowa Energy (D-League)
January 2015 - February 2015Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
February 2015 - June 2015Iowa Energy (D-League)
September 2015 - February 2016Bremerhaven (Germany)
Articles about Tyrus Thomas

December 12, 2013

Tyrus Thomas - Thomas's career implosion has been so emphatic that he's now entirely out of the league.

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October 9, 2013

On physical profile alone, Tyrus Thomas had that greatest lure of all, the striking athleticism. Upon first glance, you would think he had amazing talent, because, while physical tools are just one part of the great 'talent' misnomer, they're so readily identifiable and so regarded in their importance that they are easily enough to make synonymous with 'talent.' And Tyrus had the kind of physical tools that made scouts ring their wives.

However, Tyrus Thomas was never all that good of a player. He just looked like he should be.

He was a poor, disinterested rebounder, who grabbed a few through these physical tools alone but who never developed the core strength, positional sense or effort level to even be average in that facet of the game. He could block any shot into any spectator's lap, but it was all he was interested in and effective at doing defensively. And while he could run the court, cut to the basket and either finish with authority or draw the foul ... he just wouldn't.

Therein lies the major problem. Tyrus wanted to play a certain way, his way. The way he envisioned himself to be was as this unstoppably athletic perimeter forward, able to get past any defender with one power dribble and similarly adept at rising over anyone who dared to guard him with a soft jumper. But the way he envisioned himself to be wasn't the way NBA coaches did.

Tyrus wanted the glamour and the glory of beng the dynamic, perimeter-orientated slashing athletic combo forward, and played accordingly, but he lacked the work ethic to ever actually get good at the things he wanted to be good at. Had he been good at slashing and shooting, his complete absence of a post-up game, poor non-dunk finishing around the basket and awkwardly thin frame could have been overlooked. But in practice, Tyrus spurned that at which he should have been good in preference to that at which he never was.

Unable to consistently make any shot other than the dunk, but thoroughly convinced of the tightness of his handle and the smoothness of his jumpshot, Tyrus became a 36% shooting power forward with a poor rebounding rate, jarring ineffectiveness defensively and an extremely high turnover rate, becoming one of the worst players in the NBA from once being one of its most tantalising. And he brought it upon himself with his own decision making.

It would have been OK for Tyrus to want to be perimeter-centric offensively had he been effective enough as a player. Josh Smith has similar flaws, for example. But they are (mostly) tolerated on account of his all-around impact on the game. The same could never be said of Tyrus, who just didn't want it enough. At one point, he even managed the incredibly rare feat in the NBA of turning up underweight.

However, Tyrus Thomas was also never all that bad of a player.

Even if his "talent" was largely predicated on his physical tools, those physical tools were so immense that it covered up a lot of problems. Whilst his defensive fundamentals and positioning may have been weak, his shot blocking instincts were nonetheless strong, and a legitimate deterrent on the defensive end. He could also handle the ball and pass better than expected, albeit considerably worse than in his own estimation. On talent alone, Tyrus should never have left the NBA.

The situation in Charlotte became toxic for a number of reasons. The apathy, of course, was a big one. But injuries also factored, and the contract Tyrus received to be a part of the Bobcats's future only made the whole endeavour more noisome. So too did the draft pick traded to acquire him - long after Tyrus's departure, that pick is still yet to be conveyed. Thomas therefore unwittingly, but through much fault of his own, became a symbol of the stunted growth of the Bobcats franchise.

It's over in Charlotte, and almost certainly over in Chicago, but it's not necessarily over for Tyrus in the NBA. Given a clean bill of health and a rude awakening, Tyrus surely has enough time and talent to right his career and become a productive NBA player for several seasons to come. The chances of a career resurgence, you would think, will be quite high, starting from the moment when the penny drops. Ultimately, it is up to Thomas to drop that penny. If the shock of being out of the league isn't it, perhaps it will be the day the paychecks stop in two years time. But he doesn't have two more years to waste.

The road back is an extremely lengthy one. Even if Tyrus were to get a clean and consistent bill of health, drop the chip on his shoulder and bulk back up to NBA big man size, that still leaves a best case scenario in which he returns to his former, highly flawed self. Tyrus doesn't just need to bulk up and grow up - he also needs to work on many significant holes in his skillset before he can become a reliable rotation player, and completely reinvent his approach at the game. And if he must insist on being predominantly a jumpshooter, he must spend several months ensuring he is really, really good at it first. This, then, is an enormous ask.

But he can still jump like that. So he will get another chance.

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June 25, 2011

Biyombo is as raw as anyone except the similarly named Qatari guy, to whom we will soon arrive. But he's come very far very quickly, as explained here. His development will take a while, but Charlotte has got a while. And at the very least, Tyrus Thomas gets to be a regular NBA starter now. (Also note: lest there were any doubt, Boris Diaw is now a goner.)

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June 27, 2010

Also, if you had to take Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant when you already had Brandon Roy, as Jon Barry states, can we not use the same logic and say that the Bulls had to take Tyrus Thomas instead of Roy in 2006 because they already had Ben Gordon and Luol Deng, and just came off a season where P.J. Brown and Malik Allen shared the power forward minutes? Drafting for need in the top 5 picks does not make sense. If you have a top 2 overall pick, you are charged with the task of coming out with one of the best two players in the draft. The rest you can worry about later; that is your immediate aim. If you don't do that, you have failed. Because of all Oden's injuries, Portland seems to be being granted a mulligan for passing on the second best young player of his generation. And while Oden's injuries are of course a hugely significant factor in how badly things have worked out there, they also give the media a reason to deflect Kevin Pritchard criticism. They like that.

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February 21, 2010

The Bulls and Bucks both did two trades, including one with each other. Chicago was determined to find some more 2010 free agency money, as well they should be, so they dumped two average players for four mediocre-to-bad ones to ensure it. They first traded John Salmons to the Bucks for the expiring contracts of Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander. And later they followed that up by trading Tyrus Thomas to Charlotte for Ronald Murray, Acie Law and a future first round draft pick. One that won't get until at least 2012 due to the outstanding first that Charlotte already owes Minnesota (Ty Lawson deal) via Denver (Alexis Ajinca deal).

In both instances, the outgoing Bulls player was the best player in the deal. And you never like to see that. Yet both of those players were only average; fringe starters and quality backups, useful but far from integral, and not the kind of player you jeopardise the possibility of a big free agency run for. Salmons would probably have opted into his contract next season, which would have been debilitating to the Bulls free agency hopes. So for the cost of two second rounders (the pick swap will not be relevant), the Bulls removed this risk. Thomas was going to be a free agent anyway, who would inevitably have to have been renounced; his stay in Chicago was well and truly worn out.

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