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Old 02-22-06, 02:31 AM
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Spurs notebook: Bulls' Thomas an option as trade deadline looms

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Spurs notebook: Bulls' Thomas an option as trade deadline looms

Web Posted: 02/22/2006 12:13 AM CST

Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

If the Spurs are going to make any roster changes, they appear more likely to sign a player instead of trade for one.

With the NBA's trade deadline arriving at 2 p.m. Thursday, the Spurs don't have any deals imminent, though they continue to explore their options. Among the possibilities is signing swingman Tim Thomas if Chicago decides to waive him.

Spurs assistant coach Don Newman has a good relationship with Thomas from their days in Milwaukee. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also had tried to sign Thomas before he re-signed with the Bucks.

The Bulls acquired Thomas when they sent Eddy Curry to New York last summer, but he appeared in only three games. After Thomas complained more than once about his role, Chicago officials told him to spend the rest of the season at home in New Jersey while they worked to trade him.

Thomas is being paid $14 million this season, the final year of his contract.

The Spurs had success after signing Glenn Robinson late last season. Robinson, like Thomas, was not regarded as a hard worker or a defender, but did his best to fit in with the team.

While the Spurs can only sign Thomas if the Bulls release him, there is one notable swingman still available on the free-agent market: Latrell Sprewell.

Popovich had a good relationship with Sprewell when both were in Golden State. When the Spurs discussed trying to trade for Sprewell three summers ago, assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo said he would have no problem reuniting with the player who choked him.

"He's a fantastic competitor," Popovich said. "We've talked about him, and he's somebody I've thought about for a long time. But at this point we're not sure if taking on another person even makes sense or if he'd even be willing to do something like that."

Horry out: One reason the Spurs might try to add another player is their concern over Robert Horry's health.

Horry's hip was bothering him after Tuesday morning's shootaround, scrapping Popovich's plan to play him against Seattle.

The Spurs think Horry's hip injury is related to the lower abdominal strain that has limited him to four games since Jan. 16.

Swift back to Seattle: Robert Swift, the second-year center who had been impressive since joining Seattle's starting lineup 14 games ago, was injured in practice Monday and didn't attend Tuesday's game.

Swift, who suffered a displaced nasal fracture in a collision with teammate Reggie Evans, returned to Seattle, where he may need surgery to repair the fracture, coach Bob Hill said.

Rookie Johan Petro started in Swift's place. Hill said he wasn't sure how much time Swift will miss.

"It makes us smaller," Hill said, "but I don't have much choice."

Endorsement for Bowen: Spurs defensive standout Bruce Bowen has bothered Seattle shooting star Ray Allen over the past few seasons, to the point Allen has called Bowen a dirty player. But he endorsed Bowen's candidacy for the team USA Basketball is putting together for this summer's FIBA World Championships.

"Bruce can shoot and defend," Allen said. "It's definitely good for the team. It shows promise in us putting together a team, and not just the best players. If he can make the team he definitely can make it better. We need guys to fill roles and not worry about getting their shots."

Staff Writers Mike Finger and Mike Monroe contributed to this report.

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  #2  
Old 02-22-06, 02:50 AM
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Good of Allen to recognize how Bruce would help their team. I don't see the sense in signing a Spree or Tim Thomas if Horry's injuries are concerned, seeing as how they are both wing players.
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Old 02-22-06, 02:53 AM
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Thomas is almost exactly the same size as Horry. Considering all the small lineups where we ran Finley at the 4, I think Thomas could get some burn.

If he played D.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:00 AM
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Thomas at 6'10" can play the 2,3,or 4. I have no interest in Sprewell, but Thomas is something to definitely think about if Chicago does decide to waive him.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:42 AM
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Its looking more and more like nagging injuries may lead to Robert Horry calling it quits after this season.

He alluded to it on "Quite Frankly" and even said it was a possibility.

It wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB
Its looking more and more like nagging injuries may lead to Robert Horry calling it quits after this season.

He alluded to it on "Quite Frankly" and even said it was a possibility.

It wouldn't surprise me.
I wouldn't be a bit suprised to see him sit out another 2-3 weeks. That would give him several weeks to squeak back into the rotation before the playoffs start, and give it one last go-round.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:59 AM
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Injuries or NOT, I wouldnt be suprised if Horry retired after this season. He's only getting older and he doesnt have much to prove anymore (with all those rings of his). His retirement is a given IMO... I'm wondering how much longer NVE and Barry are gonna last...? Spurs def. need to go with a youth movement in the near future.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:20 AM
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I expect both Horry and Van Exel will be gone next year.

Barry still has value to the Spurs as a reliable backup, but it isn't out of the question he may be traded.

Beno is an interesting thought as his PT has been sporadic this year and you have to wonder how much he's actually improved from the 2005 NBA Finals. It's always possible that he is moved.

Spurs won't have much wiggle room - likely the Mid Level Exemption only.

Most pressing needs IMHO are power forward/center depth and swingman depth.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:26 AM
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I wouldn't mind picking Thomas up if he is waived by the Bulls. Maybe he could be developed as a Horry's replacement, not so for clutch shooting, but as a versitile big man. As far as Barry is concerned, I don't think Pop will trade him that easy. He's a smart player and great shooter. Maybe as a part of some bigger deal, but I doubt it.
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Old 02-22-06, 05:08 AM
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I don't understand why Sprewell's name keeps popping up.
It's getting kind of old and it seems it revolves in a circle.
His name comes up, then we hear how Pop has liked him, then we hear about how P.J. wouldn't mind if Latrell was on the team, then this, then that, and then Latrell talk dissapears
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Old 02-22-06, 07:55 AM
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Sprewell...PASS Didn't he say if he wasn't given the full MLE ($5 million or whatever it is) it's an insult? We don't have it!

TThomas...PASS. Other than height, nothing to offer.

I'd take GRob back over both in a heartbeat. At least he's been here and knows the system.
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Old 02-22-06, 09:02 AM
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Thomas is too soft to play on the front line, in my opinion, even at 6'10". Not known as a great defender, either.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB
Its looking more and more like nagging injuries may lead to Robert Horry calling it quits after this season.

He alluded to it on "Quite Frankly" and even said it was a possibility.

It wouldn't surprise me.
I think its premature to assume Horry is GONE

he actually said he wanted to play another 1-2 seasons after this one...and has said that on several occasions

however IF the Spurs won the Championship he may think about not coming back

he didnt say he was going to do that or that it was even the most likely thing to happen. He had mentioned first that he wanted to play another 1-2 years
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Old 02-22-06, 10:13 AM
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I like Thomas as a low-cost gamble. I always am for picking up a guy in a situation where he has something to prove. I think he's athletic and is in the Robert Horry mold, which is perfect considering Rob's health concerns this year.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:13 AM
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Ray Allen is a man?
$
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Old 02-22-06, 10:35 AM
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I would be surprised if Horry retired this season. He obviously wanted to play more then 1 year when he signed that 3 year contract last summer. I see him as the kind of guy who will at least finish out his contract if he doesn't have a career ending injury.

As far as Thomas, I would mind having him as a 12th man, just in case of an injury, or all the other guys on the bench playing like crap, which has happened a lot this season. The veteran minimum for a guy who can play a big SF and shoot from the outside and is athletic as well. I see Thomas the same way I saw Juwan Howard, a horribly over paid leader, but a great role player for the right price once his monster contract ran out. Thomas isn't a bad player at all, its just that his contract is bad, which in turn makes people see him as bad.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:44 AM
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What happened to Thomas? I remember him being a very good, not quite all-star kind of player a while back.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:46 AM
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If we can sign Thomas like we did with Robinson last season I think he can help. He's 6'10 and can shoot and if Big Dog played D, Thomas also can.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:49 AM
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Bad news about Horry. Hope he can stay healthy through the rest of the season.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:05 AM
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It worked for us last year, let's make another late-season signing!
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Old 02-22-06, 11:06 AM
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Tough luck if Horry doesn't come back next
season since his salary will still count towards the cap.
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Old 02-22-06, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA Spurs 2006
I don't understand why Sprewell's name keeps popping up.
It's getting kind of old and it seems it revolves in a circle.
His name comes up, then we hear how Pop has liked him, then we hear about how P.J. wouldn't mind if Latrell was on the team, then this, then that, and then Latrell talk dissapears
Everyone is always looking for the next big story. Sometimes, it seems like the media themselves are making up the rumors just to get a reaction out of a GM or coach.
Can you imagine the media frenzy if Sprewell were to be reunited with the coach he choked?
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Old 02-22-06, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGVSpursFan#1
Everyone is always looking for the next big story. Sometimes, it seems like the media themselves are making up the rumors just to get a reaction out of a GM or coach.
Can you imagine the media frenzy if Sprewell were to be reunited with the coach he choked?
No they are really considering Spree.

And as far as the media frenzy goes, it would last for 24 hours and then the media would realize it's the Spurs and then slide back into putting them on page 6 of the Sports stories.
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Old 02-22-06, 02:19 PM
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back to Thomas,
I think it would be a no-brainer to sign him. 29 and 6'10" shot over 40% from 3 pt last year and 12 ppg.
Is he going to be a difference maker? I doubt it, but it looks like one of those low risk moves.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:15 PM
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allen only wants bruce on the team so that he can get more shots for himself.

then again, he did compliment bruce's shooting as well (on top of his D).???

crazy
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Old 02-22-06, 09:47 PM
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I would take Thomas any day over Spreewell.Thomas would be that athletic small foward we really need and hes only 29.
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  #27  
Old 02-23-06, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdayi1
Sprewell...PASS Didn't he say if he wasn't given the full MLE ($5 million or whatever it is) it's an insult? We don't have it!

TThomas...PASS. Other than height, nothing to offer.

I'd take GRob back over both in a heartbeat. At least he's been here and knows the system.
Agreed. I would love to have GRob back if he's in shape. I thought he played great last year, better than Finley.

It'd be a different story if TT is auditioning for being here for the long haul. TT is not very good but if Pop is convinced he could change him to play D and rebound, (I seriously doubt it) no harm giving it a try. This guy is incredibly talented, at the same time, I don't know how much better TT is to young ones like White, D. Johnson or Ebi.

Article on Ebi:

I would like to have him on our team.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:25 AM
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I would rather have Spree than GROB or Thomas

as to if Spree would cause any problems...dont see it. Him and Pop have always had a great relationship - Spree has called him a father figure in the past. Cant see him coming in and screwing around
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Old 02-23-06, 11:59 AM
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When would Spree play? I mean come on...Spurs have Barry, Finley, Bowen all playing time at the 2 and 3 positions.
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