Tyrus Thomas headed to Charlotte

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Bobcats have acquired Tyrus Thomas.

The Charlotte Bobcats have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas for Acie Law, Flip Murray and a future first-round pick, sources said.

Law and Murray have expiring deals, so the prize for the Bulls is the Bobcats’ pick, which will probably be in the late teens or 20s for the next couple of seasons.

For Charlotte, this is a low-risk move with some nice upside. Boris Diaw hasn’t been great at power forward, and Thomas should have plenty of opportunity to prove himself along the Bobcats’ front line. It will be interesting to see how his personality meshes with Larry Brown’s. Thomas has the talent to be a very good power forward, so if he can keep his head on straight, the Bobcats may very well re-sign him.

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Caron Butler to Texas?

NBA.com’s David Aldridge does not like to write trade columns, but fans love them, so he relented. Here are a few of the more interesting tidbits:

…by this time next week, it’s almost a certainty that Caron Butler will be gone from Washington, and highly likely that Tyrus Thomas will no longer be a Bull. By the 18th, Indiana’s Troy Murphy and Philly’s Andre Iguodala are certain to have new addresses as well, though those teams may well go right up until the 3 p.m. deadline to max out their suitors’ offers.

Not a bad start. Aldridge predicts at least two stars (Butler, Iguodala) and two starter-quality players (Murphy, Thomas) will be on the move. Here’s what he says about Butler:

The Wizards’ desire to move Butler has only increased in recent days, since they found out they will indeed get some cap relief from the NBA this season after losing Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton to suspension for the rest of the season. Washington’s cap number will be reduced almost $4 million, according to sources — pro-rated amounts of the remainder of Arenas’s $16.1 million and Crittenton’s $1.47 million salaries — taking its cap number to a little more than $74 million. The cap threshhold is $69.9 million, meaning Washington could avoid paying tax if it can pare another $4 to $5 million in salaries off its books.

That means Butler, though I suspect the Wizards will ask inquiring teams to remove Mike James and/or DeShawn Stevenson from their payroll as well.

Butler winding up somewhere in Texas is most likely, with Washington probably deciding between Dallas’ and Houston’s competing offers before next week’s All-Star Game. The Wizards are determined to get a young player back, though, and the Mavericks’ only non-geezer is rookie guard Rod Beaubois — while Houston has a young guard like Kyle Lowry and an expiring big man contract in forward Luis Scola to pair with McGrady’s $22 million expiring deal.

With the way Antawn Jamison has been playing (22-10-2 in February), some consider him to be the Wizards’ most valuable trade asset. But at 33 years old and with a tough contract to swallow (two more years at the tune of $28.4 million), I believe Caron Butler is the better acquisition. Butler is four years younger and has just one year remaining ($10.6 million). Butler has had his ups and downs this season, but he’s a swingman in his prime and he proved he still has it in a brilliant 31-point, nine-rebound effort against the Magic the other night.

From a pure personnel standpoint, the acquisition of Butler makes more sense for the Mavericks, who would like to upgrade from Josh Howard. A small-ball lineup of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki would be pretty scary.

The Rockets already have Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier at small forward, so Houston’s interest seems to be more of the “buy low” variety, and that’s not a bad way to go about things. Daryl Morey has T-Mac’s $22 million expiring deal and several young assets — Lowry, Carl Landry and Chase Budinger — to dangle.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Tyrus Thomas on the trading block

Marc Stein says (via TrueHoop) that Tyrus Thomas is definitely available.

I’ve been reliably assured that Chicago’s Tyrus Thomas, back at last from a forearm injury, remains highly available.

No trade partner has emerged for the enigmatic former No. 4 overall pick, but moving Thomas before the deadline is still Chicago’s intention.

The Bulls drafted Taj Gibson at least partly because they saw him as an ideal replacement for Thomas and they like the progress Gibson is making as a starter.

One look at the Bulls’ salary cap situation explains why the Bulls are so willing to move the talented Thomas. They are currently projected to have about $13 million in cap space without him on the books. Thomas will be a restricted free agent next summer, so to have the cap space to sign a big name free agent, the Bulls have to move either Thomas or John Salmons before the trade deadline for expiring deals, or waive the rights to Thomas altogether.

It’s possible that Salmons will opt out of the final year of his deal, but the Bulls probably don’t want to take that chance. They’d like to get some sort of asset for one or both of the players. The Bulls could also free up the necessary cap space by trading Kirk Hinrich, but the team has been reluctant since he’s such a versatile guard and good defender.

Boozer headed to Chicago?

There is a possible three-team trade brewing…

Sources stressed to ESPN.com that no deal was imminent Thursday and that both Portland and Utah are still evaluating multiple trade scenarios. But two sources with knowledge of the three-team proposal confirmed that there have been substantive talks regarding a trade that would land Boozer in Chicago, Hinrich in Portland and Tyrus Thomas in Utah.

A deal featuring those main components would deliver the elite low-post scorer that the Bulls have been chasing for years in Boozer and furnish Portland with a lead guard in Hinrich that the Blazers are known to rate highly as a potential backcourt mate for Brandon Roy. It’s possible that other players would be added to balance out the transaction from a salary-cap perspective if the three teams elect to take these talks further.

It’s not clear whom the Blazers would have to give up to land Hinrich, but they have cap space so they have some flexibility with regard to how the salaries match up. For the Bulls, this looks like a decent deal depending on whether or not anyone comes over with Boozer. Hinrich and Thomas for Boozer sounds about right.

The Jazz would like to move Boozer, but want to get something in return, and in this case that’s the up-and-coming Thomas. He’s more of a face up forward, so his game should compliment Paul Millsap’s pretty well.

As for the Blazers, they’ve long been rumored to be interested in Hinrich, who can initiate the offense and is a good enough shooter to create space for Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. More importantly, he’s a pesky defender that can cover the other team’s best guard, allowing Roy to get a breather on defense. The Blazers need a point but they don’t really want to go too young at the position. They need veteran leadership and Hinrich fits the bill.

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