The big news on the Fourth of July in NBA Free Agency from the Charlotte Bobcats was that they were able to land one of the surest and highest profiled free agents on the market in Al Jefferson. That’s an absolutely enormous move for the small-market Bobcats and one that greatly improves their offense.
Another move that was necessitated by agreeing to sign Jefferson, though, was that Charlotte used their one-time amnesty clause to release Tyrus Thomas. The fact that Thomas was released on a day when the United States celebrates their independence is the most fitting and wonderfully ironic thing ever.
The Bobcats are finally free; free from one of the worst contracts in the National Basketball Association. Thomas was due around $8.65 million next season and was due another $9.35 million the following year. In case you didn’t know, there isn’t any way in this world or some parallel universe where Thomas has warranted $18 million over two seasons for playing basketball.
Thomas just finished his seventh NBA season and his third full season with Charlotte. For his career he has played in 400 games, playing 19.8 minutes per game, and has averaged only 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on paltry 43.8 percent shooting. Last season for Charlotte, he appeared in only 26 games, partially due to injuries and partially due to the fact that he’s awful, and averaged just 4.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game on atrocious 35.3 percent shooting from the field in 13.8 minutes per game.
When Thomas came into the league, people touted his athleticism and frame and saw a lot of potential. However, he has never come remotely close to realizing that potential. Sure, the Bobcats signed the biggest free agent in their young history in Jefferson, but the even better feeling may be being free from Thomas. Happy Independence Day.