As the Chicago Bulls prepare to trade forward Tyrus Thomas(notes) before Thursday’s deadline, the franchise’s front office has suggested to prospective bidders that they have a solid offer of a middling first-round pick and expiring contracts, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets made bids for Thomas over the weekend, league sources said. The Nuggets have actively searched for a big man in recent weeks, working to pry younger (DeAndre Jordan(notes)) and older ones (Antonio McDyess(notes) and Ben Wallace(notes)) without success.
Nevertheless, here are two developments to watch with Thomas: Several league executives suggested the Minnesota Timberwolves could be a sleeper for him. Minnesota general manager David Kahn has been researching Thomas and has plenty of assets – three 2010 first-round picks, multiple second-rounders and a host of expiring contracts – to make it happen. Once the Timberwolves trade Al Jefferson(notes) this summer, they can re-sign Thomas and plug him into the frontline with Kevin Love(notes). Jefferson is expected to be traded for a talented, young small forward.
Trading for Thomas would be a way to get a long, athletic power forward with upside, and the Timberwolves could easily re-sign him this summer.
Here’s something else to watch: The Portland Trail Blazers were telling teams over the weekend they had a chance to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic(notes) and wondered whether teams might have an interest in obtaining him. This prompted several executives to suggest the Blazers were working on a three-team trade, including one Eastern Conference general manager who had been told the elements of the package included Thomas and Vujacic to Portland, the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich(notes) to Los Angeles and the Lakers’ Adam Morrison(notes), another expiring deal and a first-round pick to the Bulls.
“What has, or will kill this,” one GM said, “is that Portland just won’t take Vujacic on.”
The Lakers guard is owed $5.5 million next season.
The Clippers have made Al Thornton(notes) available, sources said, and are trying to package guard Sebastian Telfair(notes) in a deal with him or center Marcus Camby(notes). Several teams have inquired about DeAndre Jordan, but the Clippers have no plans to move him. …The Oklahoma City Thunder are a popular call for teams looking for a third team to aid in trades. …Despite some speculation, New Jersey Nets president Rod Thorn will not fire GM/interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe over what departed assistant Del Harris publicly insisted was a failed plan to get him promoted to head coach and Vandeweghe back to his GM duties. “Rod has too much compassion to do it,” one league executive familiar with Thorn’s thinking said. …Longtime Nets assistant Tom Barrise, who replaced Lawrence Frank for two games as interim coach, is the favorite to get the Fairleigh Dickinson University basketball job, a source said. Barrise has moved back upstairs into the front office. FDU is using an interim coach this season. …Best line of the week came from an NBA executive mocking self-absorbed agent David Falk for taking public credit for proclaiming something that was obvious to everyone: The NBA was headed for labor strife. Said the executive: “He also told Naismith to put the peach basket over the doorway.”
NBA reporter Marc Spears contributed to this report.