Thomas’ agent Brian Elfus had serious talks with the New Jersey Nets, but his client ultimately decided to return to the Bobcats with the $8 million-a-year offer. New Jersey feared Charlotte would’ve tied up the Nets in free agency for the seven-day period in which the Bobcats could match the offer sheet.
New Jersey will turn its attention to trying to sign Miami free-agent forward Udonis Haslem, as well as look at trade possibilities.
Thomas, 23, played well during 25 games with Charlotte last season. He averaged 10 points and six rebounds with the Bobcats, who’ll play him into the starting power forward spot. At times, Thomas flourished under coach Larry Brown, and he was anxious to return and play for him.
Thomas was traded at the February deadline from the Chicago Bulls, where he had been the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft.