Trade Rumor (Not involving Gasol),141SPT8.article

Thomas for Duhon possibly in the mix.

If the Bulls are unable to pull off a blockbuster deal for a star big man such as Pau Gasol, then they may want to inquire about Washington Wizards forward-center Etan Thomas if they haven't already.

General manager John Paxson is known to like Thomas, who may be dealt after an altercation with teammate Brendan Hayward at practice recently.

The list of available big men dwindled Tuesday, when the San Antonio Spurs acquired Thornton High School product Melvin Ely from the Charlotte Bobcats in a trade.

"I think they've taken (the trade speculation) in stride," head coach Scott Skiles said of his players before the game vs. the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. "Most guys know it's part of the business. Those things happen. You hope guys understand that."

The Wizards are said to be in the market for a defensive-minded guard such as Chris Duhon, who may be expendable. On the recent road trip, Duhon reclaimed his role as the third guard in the rotation.

" 'Du' has played a lot better," Skiles said. "If you look at most good clubs, it's difficult to play four guards in a game. Somebody almost always gets left out."

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