For the second straight year, Malcolm Thomas enjoyed a very productive Summer League with the Bulls. And for the second straight year, Thomas won't be on the roster at the start of the season, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.
After averaging 11 points, 15 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in summer league, Malcolm Thomas won't be retained by the Chicago Bulls into next season due to the franchise's salary situation, a league source told RealGM.
As the guarantee date on Thomas' contract approached, the Bulls weren't able to keep the 6-foot-9 forward. Thomas had a breakout showing in summer league for the second straight year, highlighted by a record 22-rebound performance.
Thomas' contract would have become $250,000 guaranteed if he wasn't waived by July 24, so the Bulls had to make a decision on the big man within the next couple of days. I find the use of the phrase "weren't able to keep" rather hilarious, as the Bulls clearly could have kept Thomas if they really wanted to.
But keeping Thomas and adding another man to the roster would have meant dipping even deeper into the luxury tax, and the Bulls clearly didn't want to do that for a guy who probably wouldn't see the floor all that much. Thomas really isn't a center, and there's already a glut of power forwards on the roster. Remember, Erik Murphy is cheaper and already has a partially guaranteed deal!
Even so, it's still somewhat of a bummer that Thomas won't stick around, as I was intrigued by some of the things he brought to the table. Perhaps with a little more seasoning, he could have blossomed into an adequate big man option off the bench. But now, that will have to happen elsewhere.
This move likely signals the signing of one more player in the very near future to round out the roster at 13 players. The Bulls are reportedly in the final three for Marcus Camby, although I'm personally not crazy about signing an old guy with bad feet to help back up a guy with bad feet. Plus, the Bulls already have an old backup center in Nazr Mohammed. I guess it's slim pickins' at this point though, so the Bulls will have to take what they can get.