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Tyrus Thomas: Season Report Card

PER PER Against (Net)
Tyrus Thomas 9 17.25 (-2.38)

Strengths: Length and athleticism for his size. Tyrus’ length allows him to block/alter many shots on the defensive end. He fell second on the team this season, behind Bismack Biyombo, in blocks/40 min, averaging 2.4. Tyrus athleticism also allows him to be effective on offense when running the floor and getting easy attempts at the rim. Slower, less athletic 4’s have trouble staying with Thomas in an up-tempo game, so when he can catch the ball without having to put it on the floor and finish is when Thomas is most effective. The mid-range jumper has also been an aspect of Tyrus’ game that has improved over the years. Over the two seasons of 09-10 & 10-11 Tyrus shot 45.2% from 15-19 ft. This past season Tyrus shot only 35.1% from the 15-19 ft. range. His developing jump shot was looking to finally have turned the corner before this past season, but the evidence is there that’s he’s plenty capable and comfortable away from the basket.

Weaknesses: After what I had to watch last season from Tryus I’m going to focus on just a few negative aspects, simply because if I attempted to list them all this section would take all morning long and just make me angry. On that note, Tyrus’ erratic and out of control play mocked a high schoolers this season and that’s not really an understatement. Maybe Tyrus thought that since he was one of the heftiest paid players on this team he actually had the basketball skills he attempted to display, but failed miserably. Out of position on defense consistently, taking terrible jump shots (most of which ended up in air balls), trying to take defenders off the dribble and poor effort led to what was definitely the worst season of Tyrus Thomas’ career. The only thing that this guy could consistently do this season was be painfully inconsistent. Just when everyone thought he was turning the corner, especially in the area of understanding the game more (basketball IQ), this season happened and now Tyrus is an amnesty candidate and back to square one with his career in this league.

Reasons for Optimism: The Bobcats have the option of using the amnesty clause on Tyrus. I hate to be blunt about it, but I really feel as if he would be the best candidate to use the amnesty on. I hear the people that want to say it’s not worth giving up on a young player that we’ve invested so much in and that’s a fair argument, but I couldn’t disagree more. Thomas is on the books for three more seasons and $26 million. That doesn’t completely handcuff you in free agency, but it sure would be nice to not have that hanging over your head. Diop and Maggette, the two other amnesty competitors, both only have one year left on their bloated contracts, so if you used the amnesty on Tyrus this summer then Charlotte would probably have more cap space than any other team in the league when the 2013 summer arrives. If I’m Jordan, I pull the trigger on saving this $26 million on the books right now.

Reasons for Pessimism: The Bobcats decide to use the amnesty on Maggette or Diop instead and our forced to eat the rest of Tyrus’ contract. Don’t get me all wrong, I don’t believe that Thomas in an awful player, but I don’t see him being successful in the rebuilding environment that Charlotte will be in for the forseeable future. Tyrus could benefit so much from an organization such as San Antonio, Dallas or Denver. Places where he’d be coached by the best and organizations that have a track record of developing questionable talent.

Forecast: Personally, I don’t see Tyrus in a Bobcats uniform next season. I think the writing is on the wall and the front office will amnesty him. Down the road Tyrus will figure this thing all out, he just needs to be in the right environment with some veteran players and a veteran coach. He’s clearly not ready to be a leader.