Two Western Conference teams intrigued by Thomas are the Nuggets, patiently seeking a big man to contend with the Lakers, and the Spurs, who were characterized by two rival executives as desperate to acquire an athletic big man. “They feel like they have to do something, like they’re behind the eight ball a little bit,” one of the execs said. The Spurs have a full complement of expiring contracts that would intrigue the Bulls, who want to avoid losing a significant player with no compensation (see Ben Gordon) for the second straight summer.
I mentioned Thomas as a potential trade acquisition in my mailbag post yesterday about Manu Ginobili.
While the Spurs have a young athletic big man in DeJuan Blair, his height is certainly an issue and the Lakers took advantage of that last night. Have an explosive, athletic center next to Tim Duncan is intriguing, but Thomas is at a point where he’s got to mature fast or he’ll never be more than potential.
His days in Chicago are numbered after rookie Taj Gibson took his spot in the starting lineup and after he was suspended for cussing out Vinny Del Negro.
At times, Thomas looks like the next great big man who could one day become an all-star and other times he looks like a confused D-Leaguer playing his first NBA game. The mental aspect is a huge issue, but I think he could thrive under the tutelage of Tim Duncan and with Pop coaching him.
If the Spurs just lose a few expiring contracts, it might be worth the risk to get Thomas and see if he can turn into the center the Spurs have been looking for since David Robinson retired.
RJ on the trading block
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports wrote today about the Spurs patience with Richard Jefferson running low. He also mentioned that league sources say the Spurs have brought up Jefferson’s name in trade talks with no takers.
As Jeff Garcia and I talked about on last night’s Laker’s recap live show, Jefferson has been a bust and is definitely not earning his $14 million contract. I’m sure the Spurs will continue to shop Jefferson, and we’ll have a few trade scenarios of our own on Project Spurs next week.