Bobcats Secure Tyrus Thomas For 5 Years/$40 Million

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The Charlotte Bobcats have accomplished one of their primary goals of the offseason in signing restricted free agent Tyrus Thomas to a 5 year/$40 million contract (Yahoo | Bonnell/Observer).

Media reports in recent days had indicated that Thomas preferred to resign with the Bobcats (nothing wrong with drinking the Larry Brown kool-aid) and the Cats had been pretty transparent in their desire to keep Thomas.

Beyond the fact that they had given up Flip Murray and a future first round pick to obtain Thomas at the trading deadline (meaning that he would have been a very expensive rental), Thomas is young, upside player on a squad where “young” and “upside” are in short supply.  He played quite well for the Cats down the stretch.  He’s a long, athletic, “Larry-Brown-type-of-guy”; accordingly, Brown has specifically mentioned that he is looking forward to helping Thomas continue to develop.

However, the fear that another team with ample cap space could swoop in with a deal that Thomas couldn’t refuse was well-founded.  The Knicks, Nets and Clippers had plenty of room after striking out on the Lebacle.  Of particular concern was the possibility that someone could offer a “poison-pill” front-loaded contract that the Bobcats wouldn’t be able to match without going over the luxury tax line for 2010-11.

You have to read between the lines to figure out exactly how it went down (so this is speculation) but from the sounds of it, the Bobcats had a reasonable dollar amount and contract structure in mind.  Most importantly, Thomas wanted to stay; however, he needed to make sure no team was going to throw silly money at him.

The New Jersey Nets (in a great show of confidence in their lottery pick PF Derrick Favors) were apparently the most interested other team, and they did indeed offer Thomas a front-loaded contract that would have been difficult for the Cats to match outright.  However, the general range of the Nets offer must have assured Thomas that the Bobcats’ proposed numbers were in line with his market value, so he’s signing with the Cats.

Again, that’s speculation.  Maybe he considered the New Jersey offer more seriously?  Maybe the Cats had to re-raise with a better offer after hearing New Jersey’s?  Either way, the Cats have accomplished an important goal for the offseason in keeping him.

What remains to be seen is what else the Cats can do to remix and upgrade the roster.  Tyson Chandler’s big expiring contract is a strong contender to be moved.  The Cats would likely be looking to shore up the PG spot, while lowering their overall payroll.  Easier said than done…

-Dr. E

28 thoughts on “Bobcats Secure Tyrus Thomas For 5 Years/$40 Million

  1. Depending on how they've structured the contract, the Bobcats are currently right at the razor's edge of the luxury tax after re-signing Tyrus and inking Dominic McGuire to a one year $900,000 million deal.

    Also, they have no point guard on the roster other than D.J. Augustin. Expect a trade.

    Tyrus's deal is a little pricey but what you'd expect after seeing the chaos of the offseason. Thomas is only 23 and flashes brilliance on a regular basis. If you're gonna gamble on a prospect then you could do worse.

    Personally, I was hoping that the team could have come away with Michael Beasley who provides electric offense (something that the Bobcats sorely lack) and is on a more reasonable rookie scale contract. Oh well.

    The McGuire signing will infuriate those who want Gerald Henderson and Derrick Brown to play more than ten minutes a game. I don't mind it. He doesn't have the offensive skills of a Stephen Graham but could provide the kind of wing defender (ala Tony Allen) that would help the Bobcats shut down LeBron or DWade when Wallace or JAX go to the bench.

    As far as the point guard position goes, look for the team to make a move soon. DrE tweeted about a Mo Williams for Tyson Chandler swap earlier. Could kind of see that coming but wouldn't be a big fan. Williams has no court vision and is in the middle of an overpriced contract (no need to add yet another one of those). T.J. Ford as a rental looks more likely everyday unless MJ can convince Kahn to send him Al Jefferson and Ramon Sessions for Tyson and a prospect.

  2. Justin

    My thoughts exactly Doctor!! Why pay Tyrus that much to be a backup?? Although if Jefferson were to come in here by chance, he starts no doubt, and that puts Tyrus back on the bench…but then again, not sure he minds. He seems more effective that way.

    Is it logical to think DJ is our starting 1, and with Sherron Collins showing in summer league, is he our backup? 32 pts is pretty stout, even if it is summer league.

  3. Great to see Tyrus coming back! I was at his debut home game last season against the Cavs and he was spectacular. He didn't know any plays, but he still swatted shots as a help defender, grabbed boards, threw down dunks, and dived to the floor for loose balls. I think he even guarded Lebron on a switch and kept him from scoring. The crowd ate it up and gave him a huge welcome.

    ASChin – I don't think McGuire got a $900,000 million deal. If he did, I would have expected to see him on ESPN announces his Decision. That's a lot of zeros.

    Looking at McGuire's stats from the past couple of seasons and I think he's just going to be a backup at the PF spot. No reason to think that Henderson or Brown will get less time because of him. I would expect Boris, Tyson, or Nazr to be moved this summer.

    It's tough to guess who the PG will be.

  4. Listen, I love what I've seen in the summer league too but let's remember the context. At best Collins makes the roster and is the team's third point guard. Cats don't reclaim their Playoff spot with DJ as the starter so look for a trade to happen soon.

    I'll have more in my state of the roster post coming soon.

  5. ASChin – yea Al Jefferson and Sessions would be a solid upgrade. I think the numbers would put the Cats over the luxury line, though.

    Minnesota now has Beasley, Love, and Jefferson with a couple of Euro dudes in their frontcourt. It's tough to fathom how dedicated they are to trading Jefferson. He can still produce, right?

  6. Brett

    I just don't think Boris Diaw is fitted to play in a Larry Brown system as a Power Forward. He is a great shooter and can grab some boards but when it comes to pushing the rim, blocking shots, and drawing fouls Boris has no knack for that. Larry Brown expects that physical play from the guys and Boris is the only one who starts who doesn't fit that mold to me. I think Tyrus starts over Boris and if we have Boris he is the 6th man next year (pretty solid) I really like what i have seen from Tyrus especially in the playoffs and i don't feel they would pay him big money to sit the bench. Big Money= Big Expectations. The Al Jefferson Trade changes the situation completely. Then I agree Tyrus sits.

  7. Brett

    Personally I think the Bobcats took Jeffires so they have some more trade leverage. I think a team is gonna want Naz or Chandler and somebody, Jeffries is that guy unless they are gonna give up our young guys which i doubt they want to do. Still i would love to see them get rid of boris diaw but i just don't think they will find a taker because of his big contract. Either way I think either Diaw or Jeffries is gone soon either in a package with one of our centers or possibly Diaw alone. I am excited for the coming week, the signing of Tyrus was my main concern for the Bobcats if we can get a reliable PG I like how we stack up against teams like atlanta, miami, and orlando. I also think we could see a few more wins this year considering Jackson nor Thomas were with us for the full season last year, now that they have a year under their belts I think it could translate into both of those guys averaging more points per game. We will be the underdogs in our increasingly LOADED division but i feel we will fair pretty well as is and we can only improve the next few weeks in free agency.

    Go Cats.

  8. Charlie

    Has anybody thought the Diaw could be backup PG, it makes sense. He is best 2nd best ball handler on team behind DJ. You can have him bring up ball, he drives-and-dishes. You could have him, Gerald, Jax, GWall, and Thomas or Tyson in during the game at one point. That lineup looks pretty decent to me, all good defenders and can all score except the center. Diaw does alot more for the team than people give him credit for, he is one of the guys who helps facilitate the ball so others can get their shots. Yes his contract is large for his stats, however i would rather have him than Al Jefferson because Al Jefferson takes away from Gerald and Jax's shot count. Diaw is a very good defender as well. People dont give him enough credit for what he does for the team. The thing about it is, if Chandler is traded for PG who plays backup center to Nazr, Diop? that would not be good. Mcguire is just one of those hustle players who does anything to win. He is 6'9 and can play 3 or 4. He really good at D, he is not better than Derrick Brown but could get some time in in case of injuries.

  9. Tyler

    wow um no haha Diaw is nowhere near the best ball handler on the team bud. Boris didnt even wana play his regular position right until we brought in Tyrus to light a fire under him im ready to let Boris go i like him but we could get a PG out of him

  10. Charlie

    Do you ever see Diaw losing the ball off of the dribble? his turnovers are always on passes (alot of TO's), he is better ballhandler than JAX and both Geralds. Jax might be better but you dont want him bringing ball up in Brown's offense because the offense can is designed for wings to cut off screens. So Diaw is a top 3 ballhandler at minimum. Think about it. Yeah Tyrus Thomas wanted to come back because the fans treat him well, BS. He came back because he knows in order to reach his potential he needs to be literally coached by someone like Larry Brown. Charlotte is not a great NBA city because fans never filled up the arena even when charlotte set the record for their own longest win streak. Fans only fill up that arena when big name players come. I am a true fan, I watch their game regardless of who they are playing. EVERY GAME (summer league, preseason, or regular season, obviously playoffs)

  11. Brett

    Diaw would not fit in as a PG he is no where near quick enough, yes he is a facilitator but thats a entirely different aspect. Do you think Diaw could run the court with burners like Jameer Nelson or Brandon Jennings? No way. He does do a lot of dishing to other guys but with our defense first mentality someone has to score. I like Diaw but for his position he just plays soft. He is simply a role player that has bounced around because his money indicates he should be a starter but his game says otherwise. Good point about the C position however if we let go of chandler who fills in, Ajinka and Diop. In a division with Dwight Howard that will not win us any games against orlando. Hopefully they will resign Theo Ratliff, although he poses no scoring threat i like the defense he brought this year. This is all assuming we trade away chandler and don't pick up a center.

  12. Tyler

    iv definatley seen boris lose the ball he cant dribble and i am a true fan i live far from Charlotte so i cant go to alot of games but north carolina is a big basketball state the reason the Hornets didnt work and the Bobcats have struggled with attendance is because of ownership sucked before now with Jordan and the Bobcats have never been tht good to attract ppl to the games till now once the bobcats are consistently good people will wanna come watch them i dont think it takes a big name player

  13. Tyler

    people rlly probly didnt take notice of the bobcats till the playoffs i mean did u see the stadium was packed north carolina is basketball crazy once we are this good every year attendance will get better

  14. Tyler

    i like the Mo Williams and Al Jefferson but i think Tyrus wants to come back because we treated him so well and Charlotte is a great city

  15. Charlie

    Yes Diaw would not be able to run with Jameer Nelson, he would still be playing PF just bringing the ball up. He would still be defended by opposing PF. Gerald Henderson would be on court to defend the opposing PG such as Nelson or Chalmers. I would use it as option, because as of right now I hope Bobcats trade Diaw instead of Chandler (this might contradict my statements earlier) because of the lack of center depth. Ajinca will never be an NBA player, too soft, not quick on defense, no IQ. If Diop went back to his old ways he could be useful, just a good defender and rebounder that picks up fouls in hurry. If Chandler is traded for a PG I see Diaw and Thomas playing together alot when Nazr goes out of game and when his back begins to hurt again.

  16. Justin

    I love the Jefferson thought…would love to see him here to bring alittle offense, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. I also like the thought of bringing in Mo Williams to run the point…he’d be an upgrade as a shooter, and even though I think he wouldn’t run the offense quite as good as felton did, I think he’d do it better than Augustin at this point. You have to think with Felton leaving, this team has to do something to address the PG position. Also, with the signing of McGuire, doesn’t that suggest that Diaw is all but gone?

  17. Whoa, slow down there Tyler. Jeffries was rumored to be a part of the 4-team Bosh deal, but that trade fell apart a couple days ago. So, not sure why you think we have him.

    Also, I don’t think Diaw’s contract is really that onerous now. There’s only 2 years at 9 million per left, and Boris is a solid contributor. That’s the thing about big long contracts — if the player is still contributing, they get to be pretty attractive trade chips in their last year or two to a team that could use a short term fix at that player’s position.

    As a matter of fact, Tyrus’s willingness to come back makes me wonder if the front office hasn’t told him he’s going to start at PF this year. So maybe it will be Boris, and not Chandler, who’ll be traded to give the Cats some depth at PG and a little salary cap savings.

  18. Have to admit, the thought of Diaw playing point guard was utterly ridiculous to me before I remembered that he came into the League as PG with the Hawks seven or eight years ago. He was a little more svelte back in those days sure but I guess it isn't totally out of the question.

    Magic Johnson 2.0 anybody?

    Spork-

    We do have the Twitter:

    @bobcatsbaseline (ASChin)

    @baselineDrE (DrE)

    We'll do a better job in the future of relaying that information on our site.

  19. Charlie

    Thank you ASChin, nooone remembers when he was drafted by Hawks he was a PG. He just wasnt quick enough so Phoenix moved him to PF/C when he went there and they utilized his playmaking skills. The thing is about trading our big men is that the teams that need big men dont have PG that get paid high enough to match Diaw or Chandler contract, keep in mind we do have a $4 million trade exception however. Indiana has pieces but Larry Bird has stated (report by fanhouse) that the players he wants to move with expiring contracts will be used to get players with longer contracts back. Such as a team that wants to get cap space for next year free agency will get rid of long contract player for relief. The only real logical trade partners to get back a big man and PG (at least 4 player trade) would be Memphis, T'Wolves, Hornets, Spurs, Wizards, Hawks, and Nuggets. Charlotte could sign Shannon Brown by the way because he could play PG, no playmaking skills but he plays real good D, puts fans in seats, and hits open J.

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