Tyrus Thomas for Al Harrington?

Coming soon to a Bulls game near you?

Coming soon to a Bulls game near you?

Heading into October, it looked like this season was going to decide Tyrus Thomas’ fate as a member of the Chicago Bulls. However, rumors seem to indicate that Chicago management has seen pretty much everything they need to see out of their enigmatic forward. Apparently, the Bulls have had discussions with “several teams” and an “ongoing dialogue” with New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh.

The theoretical deal would be a bargain platter of Thomas (who’s still out with a forearm injury) and Jerome James (who, let’s face it, was never going to play for the Bulls) in exchange for Knicks forward Al Harrington.

According to one league executive briefed on the talks: “Nothing is imminent, but both sides would like to figure out a way to do this.”

Walsh has been understandably reluctant to part with Harrington — currently is averaging 19.5 points (on 45 percent shooting) and 6.2 rebounds with a Player Efficiency Rating of 19.2 — but the Knicks aren’t going anywhere this season, with or without Harrington. Why not roll the dice with a young stud like Ty? Mike D’Antoni’s run ‘n gun offense can alway use athletic jumping jacks like Thomas. If any system is going to unleash Ty’s potential, it’s New York’s Seven Seconds or Less Lite. Think about it: a system that forces a player to shoot early and often without requiring him to give consistent effort on defense. It was made for guys like Tyrus!

As for the Bulls, they would get a certified frontcourt scorer (which they desperately, desperately need) who can play both power forward (as a starter) and small forward (to relieve Luol Deng). Adding scoring and versatility never hurts. But just as (if not more) importantly, Harrington has a $10.2 million contract that’s set to expire next summer. Ergo, the Bulls would still have plenty of spare cash to pursue impending free agents like Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, et al. (I didn’t include LeBron James on that list because, let’s face it, he’s not coming here.)

It’s been fairly obvious since the preseason that Taj Gibson is being groomed to replace Thomas anyway. And, frankly, he’s probably worth about 70 percent of “Good Tyrus” and around 127 percent of “Bad Tyrus” already. So if the Bulls can bring in a stopgap player who can provide instant offense and frontcourt versatility with no long-term obligations, it seems like a borderline no-brainer.

The downsides, of course, include the following. First, for all we know, Tyrus was set to have a breakout season before he got injured. After already investing several years in his development — although it could easily be argued that Chicago’s efforts at “developing” Thomas have been poorly concieved and even more poorly executed — it would be rather painful to see him explode for another team. Second, Al Harrington is young (well, 29 anyway), talented and has skills that are more “proven” than “potential.” However, if you browse over his career history, you’ll notice that he’s never really been an integral part of a winning situation. Numbers are nice — we know for certain that Al can provide 18-ish points and 6-ish rebounds a game — but it’s even better when the numbers equate to victories.

Maybe Harrington has never been in the right situation. Maybe the Bulls would finally provide him with one. Who knows? But either way, it’s an intriguing possibility. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of it.

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25 Responses to Tyrus Thomas for Al Harrington?

  1. smithmr04@gmail.com'
    ATL Bulls Fan December 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    I think this would be a great idea. I would rather get david lee than harrington, but al’s no slouch. We desperately need a low post scorer and thats exactly what he is. I say give tryus 3 weeks once he’s healthy to once again prove to us that all he is is a freak athlete, then let him go. It would be terrible to get rid of him then have him turn into a josh smith type player, which he should be minus the 3 pt shooting.

  2. vittoriodezen@gmail.com'
    Vic De Zen December 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Highly doubt Lee’s available.

    I see why it’s good for the short-term, kinda. Harrington can help the offense. It’s just… Tyrus still has the potential to be a fantastic two-way player. I hate when teams give up on guys like him.

  3. mjlynch2@gmail.com'
    Mike December 4, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Couple of thoughts…
    -I really liked Matt Moore’s points about how Al will (a)create additional lineup versatility and (b) spread the floor to open up the middle.

    -I really felt like a mid-season deal for Carlos Boozer was within the Bulls’ reach, with the right combo of expiring deals and 3rd team. Is that out of the question if this deal happens?

    -This move only softens an already mushy interior defense.

  4. Ray Plezz December 4, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Tyrus has no potential, we’ve seen from the beginning what he could be, and we’ve also seen what he will never be. Consistent. Great trade if Chicago can pull it off!

  5. tj December 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    al harrington would provide us with scoring that we desperately need and we will not be able to sign a star frontcourt player in the offseason and resign tyrus so we might as well trade him. taj avg’s 8 pts a game as our starting pf and al avg’s 19.5 off the bench. r u kidding me???????????????

  6. brianavers@gmail.com'
    Varese December 4, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    I’m not sure I understand how that trade really makes sense for New York. Harrington is a proven commodity and athlete and Thomas is proven to be unreliable mentally. Maybe they don’t much care. But from a Bulls standpoint, that trade is a no-brainer – I love Tyrus Thomas to death, but I don’t believe he’s a starter on a championship team.

  7. usmcroc22@msn.com'
    rocky December 4, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    You guys are all crazy. So what harrington can score. He doesn’t do much of anything else. He doesn’t pass the ball, can’t defend and he’s 29. Tyrus is only 23. If we’re going to use tyrus in a trade at least try and package him for Bosh,Boozer, or Amare, but harrington. That doesn’t make sense at all. Harrington has been a loser for the past 10 years and doesn’t care about winning. He’ll be a plague to this team. Tyrus has more motivation to put up big numbers when he gets back from his injuries. Unless its for Bosh I’m not trading this kid. If anybody on the knicks then I’m trading for Galinari or David Lee.

  8. jdlund@indiana.edu'
    Joe December 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

    Rocky, a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, do not belittle scoring points. It is after all the deciding factor in a game, and scoring in bunches is something that this Bulls squad has proven it cannot do. The Bulls needs a big scorer. They certainly need someone who can hang on the perimeter. Salmons is too inconsistent. Rose is not an outside shooter and without an outside presence lanes have been clogged for him because teams know full well that when they play the Bulls they can pretty much ignore anything beyond the three point line. Also Rose has had a really slow start. He’s great, I love him, but for some reason (injury or otherwise) he’s just not quite there so far. They need someone who can score, a lot and frequently.

    Second, who cares if Harrington is older? As the article points out his contract expires. If the Bulls decide that they’d rather go in a different direction they don’t need to invest into Harrington’s future. They still have plenty of money going into one of the greatest free agency seasons imaginable. Tyrus has potential but he hasn’t lived up to it at all, and he’s clearly not happy here. This trade is an absolute no brainer for the Bulls. I still don’t get the angle for the Knicks so that’s why I don’t think it would happen. But the Bulls would be foolish not to do this if they could.

  9. jdlund@indiana.edu'
    Joe December 4, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh, and I completely forgot my third point. No way could the Bulls package a deal for an elite player like Bosh or Amare. For Thomas? Never going to happen. To get Bosh or Amare you would have to give up far more than the Bulls would be willing to give up. Besides why would you do that? Bosh has been pretty visibly miserable in Toronto and he’ll be on the free agency market next year. Why give up Thomas and let’s say Rose or Noah (the only way you make that deal work) for a player you are likely to be able to get without a trade next year when everyone else is fighting over Lebron. There’s no reason why the Bulls couldn’t end up with either Bosh or Wade or both.

    Boozer might have been possible before the season started and he showed how good he still is. The Jazz clearly have forgotten about Milsap being the future of the team. If the Bulls wanted Boozer they should have tried a lot harder in the summer.

  10. LL-Smokes-Jays December 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    As long as the Bulls don’t have to give up Aaron Gray I like this deal.

  11. Jcguzman_2011@yahoo.com'
    Juan Guzman December 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    I agree with Vic De Zen…. Lets give Ty 3 weeks and see what he does. If he averages a double double in those three weeks we keep him… Hopefully we sign him after we get our super star LeBron or Wade. :)

  12. willduffing@yahoo.com'
    insane paker mauler December 5, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    What do you mean Lebron is out of the question? We have a great owner in reinsdorf and a globaly respected team, Why should’nt we have a global phenom on par with M J ? We should go after Lebron hard and all the Media and fans should accept no less . we already missed out on Kobe and watched Boston buy a ring. We have talent to complement him and can move deng around to accomadate him

  13. samson1111@hotmail.com'
    Sam December 5, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    Have you watched Taj play? Taj is maybe 40 percent of Good Tyrus, and 80 percent of Bad Tyrus. But he can hit jumpers. Tyrus can hit jumpers, but not as often or as consistently as Taj. Taj is quite literally worse at EVERYTHING ELSE.
    That said, the Bulls save money with this deal, so if they can they’re going to do it. It’s not like:
    -TT is going to blow up if we keep him in Chicago [thanks, development, we're the best team for developing young players ever!]
    -we’re going to sign TT next year even if he plays well [that would 'cut into the cap space'!]
    so in the long run it doesn’t really matter.

  14. Phil December 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    I also can’t see why the Knicks would do it. Way too one-sided a trade imo. Aswell as that I have this fear of Thomas maturing in 2-3 yrs and becoming the monster player we all are wishing for. Is it worth it to pay him for a few years inbetween if he does eventually make that leap? Afterall, it’s not like we’ll be challenging for the title in the next couple years is it?

  15. bulls fan December 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    u people are crazy… all harrington is not even a player we should be looking at right now. first off, yes the bulls are struggling and definately do not have a post player. that doesn’t mean we get rid of ty thomas basically because he is hurt. the bulls should have learned from their mistakes when they got rid of tyson chandler when he lit shit up the year after we traded him. ty thomas is not the best player in the world but lets face it, he isn’t the worst either. if anything, we should get rid of him next year in hopes to get a couple superstars next year.

  16. gobuycheap@gmail.co'
    Discount Skis December 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    I’d take Tyrus over Al any day. Al’s never been a winner. At least Tyrus still has some potential.

  17. rali87@hotmail.com'
    RMagnus December 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    “‘developing’ Thomas have been poorly concieved and even more poorly executed”….wow, that’s a pretty strong statement. Can you be more specific? What were the Bulls doing that they shouldn’t have done? What were they not doing that they should have done? If what you really mean is, “they haven’t given him consistent playing time,” then 30 teams are poorly conceiving and executing the development of a lot of players.

  18. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    felipe garcia December 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    The Bulls need to make this trade happen A.S.A.P!!! because just like the joe and matt mention this already in their comments. The Bulls need a good CONSISTENT SCORER!! that can hit big shoots and help the offense when they are not shooting well on given nights, making Al the right guy for the job. By adding Al, he can play the 3, 4 and 5 spot spreading the floor. He can hit big 3 point shoots at a high percentage (something the Bulls are truly missing ever since BG left.), score inside, outside and plays solid defense. Maybe not as well as Tyrus Thomas defense but, he is a way better consistent scorer then him! Averaging 19 points per game with 6 rebs and 1.2 steals coming off the bench. And just like joe and matt mention this already, if Al is not the right guy for the Bulls when it is all said and done, they will have the option not to sign him again for next year. Since his big contract is coming off the books for 2010, giving the bulls the same chances of getting Bosh, Wade or Joe johnson still. So please BULLs GM make this deal happen right now!!!

  19. felipeagarcia87@hotmail.com'
    felipe garcia December 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Yup, lets make this trade happen! Lets face it people Tyrus Thomas is not a right fit for the Bulls system anyways.

  20. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale December 7, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    RMagnus — I have several thoughts on the matter, but I’ll leave you with a few wise words from Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie:

    “I’ve been a Thomas backer for a while, but the only way this guy was going to even sniff his potential in the NBA was for him to get a solid foundation and instruction in the first two or three years of his career. Chicago frittered that chance away while dealing with coaching issues, the hope that Ben Wallace(notes) would grow into any sort of locker-room leader, and by involving him in trade rumors almost immediately after Thomas was … um, traded to the Bulls in June of 2006.

    “So while Tyrus could have a beastly few weeks upon heading to his next team — whether that is sometime this year, next season or (shock horror) in 2011-12 after playing out the QO with Chicago (hey, it’s Chinatown, this NBA; anything can happen) — it likely won’t be anything that lasts. He’s just been dogged around too much to want to trust anything. Too much of his great play was met with a benching. Too much of his dog play was meant with an indifferent shrug.”

  21. L.A.Bullsfan December 7, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    Trade the whole team.

  22. packersbite34@aol.com'
    Dan December 8, 2009 at 6:10 am #

    Taj Gibson is not good, do you people watch him play? He puts up the same numbers any player that could make an NBA team could put up with him minutes. He makes very little impact at all on any game.

  23. douglasterri@aol.com'
    dougbiker December 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Tyrus Thomas’ 3rd year was comparable to Jermaine O Neal’s 5th year. From Jermaine’s 6th year to his 11th year he was a 5 time All Star starting the All Star Game twice. Tyrus also was over 78% in free throw shooting while Jermaine was at 61% in his 5th year. No wonder several teams are interested in Tyrus!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hardwood Paroxysm » Blog Archive » When The Idol Becomes Fodder: The Tyrus Thomas Trade Discussion - December 4, 2009

    [...] via Tyrus Thomas for Al Harrington? » By The Horns. [...]

  2. Do the Bulls need an alpha dog? » By The Horns - December 8, 2009

    [...] poorly constructed team. That would be the case even if Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas were healthy. The Ty Thomas for Al Harrington trade rumors seem to be a concession by Chicago management that the team — as presently constructed [...]

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