Thomas with the Chicago Bulls in 2009
|Born||February 26, 1977|
Paterson, New Jersey
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Paterson Catholic|
(Paterson, New Jersey)
|NBA draft||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall|
|Selected by the New Jersey Nets|
|Position||Power forward / Small forward|
|Number||1, 5, 2, 7|
|2004–2005||New York Knicks|
|2006–2008||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2008–2009||New York Knicks|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||9,454 (11.5 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,379 (4.1 rpg)|
|Assists||1,272 (1.5 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Timothy Mark Thomas (born February 26, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player.
A versatile 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) forward with a soft shooting touch, Thomas was tabbed as a future NBA star when he was still in high school, and was selected to the McDonald's All-American team after averaging 25.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Paterson Catholic High School. He was ranked as the no. 2 recruit in the nation behind only Kobe Bryant whom almost joined him at Villanova after the two both played in the 1996 High School McDonald's All-American game and the All-Star Magic Johnson Roundball Classic game which they dominated together. Thomas considered making the jump straight to the NBA from high school, waiting to declare his decision to attend college at Villanova until just days before the deadline to enter the NBA draft.
Thomas made his mark in his one season of college basketball at Villanova University. Joining a future NBA talent-laden team with Alvin Williams, Jason Lawson, John Celestand and Malik Allen, he filled the void of former Big East Player of the Year Kerry Kittles from the year before and helped lead the Wildcats to a Big East regular season title under head coach Steve Lappas. Villanova took second place in the Big East tournament, while Thomas was named to both All-Big East and All-Big East Tournament teams as well as win Big East Rookie of the Year award while averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds per game. Villanova would make the 1997 NCAA Tournament but lost in second round to California, which featured future NFL All-Pro Tony Gonzalez.
Following his freshman year at Villanova, he was drafted seventh overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 1997 NBA draft and was immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the 76ers' draft pick (Keith Van Horn).
Thomas enjoyed a solid rookie season, averaging 11 points per game, and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team. The 76ers would grow impatient with a sophomore slump from Thomas, though, and in 1999 he and Scott Williams were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Jerald Honeycutt and Tyrone Hill.
Milwaukee was enamored with Thomas's raw talent and versatility, and hoped he could blossom into a star with more seasoning. It looked like things were coming together for Thomas during the 2000–01 season, when he averaged a career-high 13.4 ppg for the Bucks. On January 5, 2001, Thomas connected on eight three-point field goals in the second half of Milwaukee's 119–115 loss to Portland. During his time with the Bucks, then-teammate Ray Allen was quoted as saying, "If he wanted to, Tim Thomas could be the best player in the league." Nevertheless, after a strong playoff performance that year, Thomas signed a new deal with the Bucks worth roughly $66 million over six years, despite being offered more money by Chicago.
New York Knicks
On February 16, 2004, Thomas was traded to the New York Knicks in a three-team trade that also included the Atlanta Hawks. The trade also sent Keith Van Horn, whom Thomas was also traded for during the 1997 draft, from the Knicks to the Bucks, Nazr Mohammed from the Hawks to the Knicks, Joel Przybilla from the Bucks to the Hawks, and Michael Doleac from the Knicks to the Hawks.
During game 1 of the Knicks' first-round playoff series against the Nets, Thomas suffered an injury that kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs, when he was fouled by Jason Collins and taken out of the game on a stretcher. The incident started a long feud with Nets forward Kenyon Martin, who Thomas called a fake tough guy, that continued past both players' playing careers.
In 2017, Thomas rehashed their feud on an episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Thomas told Brandon Scoop B Robinson that he'd like to settle his feud with Kenyon Martin once and for all with a boxing match. The proceeds would go to the charity of their choice. Martin declined.
Prior to the 2005–06 season, Thomas was traded to the Chicago Bulls, along with Jermaine Jackson, Mike Sweetney, a 2006 1st-round draft pick, a 2007 1st-round draft pick, a 2007 2nd-round draft pick and a 2009 2nd-round draft pick, in exchange for Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis and a 2007 1st-round draft pick.
Playing in the final year of his contract, Thomas was given minimal minutes from the rebuilding Bulls. After playing just three games for Chicago, Thomas was deactivated while dealing with ankle and back injuries. After not playing for nearly four months, Thomas was granted his release from the Bulls.
On March 1, 2006, Thomas agreed to terms with the Phoenix Suns to a contract for the remainder of the season. He made his debut with the Suns two days later, scoring 20 points off the bench in a 123–118 win over Orlando. Playing alongside reigning NBA MVP Steve Nash (who won a consecutive MVP award that year), Thomas rejuvenated his career in Phoenix.
In the playoffs, Thomas played a crucial role in the Suns run to the Western Conference Finals. Starting in place of injured All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire (who did not play the entirety of the playoffs), Thomas scored a game-high 22 points with 15 rebounds in a game 1 victory in the first round over the Lakers. In game 6, Thomas hit the game-tying three at the end of regulation and an important three-pointer late in overtime to seal the Suns' win. The Suns won game 7, overcoming a 3–1 series deficit.
In the Suns' second-round series against the Clippers, Thomas was credited for his defense on Elton Brand, helping the team to another seven-game series win. In the Western Conference Finals, Phoenix fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. In game five of that series, Thomas "blew a kiss" to Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, who then proceeded to score a total of 50 points for the game. Thomas expressed an interest in re-signing with Phoenix, though the Suns were over the salary cap and expected Stoudemire to return as their starter.
Los Angeles Clippers
On July 13, 2006, Thomas signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. He frequently started in place of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, though Thomas himself also battled injuries.
Second stint with New York
On November 21, 2008, Thomas and Cuttino Mobley were traded to the New York Knicks, in exchange for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. In his return to the Knicks, Thomas was reunited with Mike D'Antoni, who was his coach in Phoenix.
Second stint with Chicago
On February 19, 2009, Thomas was traded again to the Bulls along with center Jerome James and guard Anthony Roberson in exchange for guard Larry Hughes just before the trade deadline. His second stint in Chicago was more successful than his first, as he provided veteran leadership to the young team, helping the Bulls make a late-season push to qualify for the playoffs. Though entering the playoffs as the seventh seed, they were able to push their first-round series against the defending-champion Boston Celtics to a full seven games.
On July 14, 2009, the Bulls negotiated a buyout of Thomas's $6.5 million contract.
On July 28, 2009, the Dallas Mavericks signed free agent Thomas. In late January, however, he left the team temporarily to take care of his wife, who had an undisclosed illness.
In August 2010 Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks worth the veteran minimum. In September of that year, however, he told the club that he would not report to the team so that he could care for his sick wife.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Howard, Johnette (November 15, 1996). "One year and then...? Villanova phenom Tim Thomas gives it the old college try, but the call of the NBA is never out of earshot". SI.com. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "Thomas Picks Villanova". The New York Times. May 6, 1996. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Burns, Marty. "6 Milwaukee Bucks With Glenn Robinson gone, Tim Thomas has a chance to prove that he's worth his big contract--and that he can fetch more wins than Big Dog". Vault. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "There is no doubting Thomas will fill a void". Los Angeles Times. February 21, 2007.
- Writer, Fred Mitchell, Tribune Staff. "THOMAS LATEST TO SNUB BULLS". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Knicks deal Van Horn in 3-team trade". ESPN.com. February 15, 2004. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Thomas: K-Mart's act is phony. Sports.espn.go.com (April 22, 2004). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
- K-Mart: Thomas' words mean nothing. Sports.espn.go.com (April 22, 2004). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
- "Kenyon Martin Responds To 50 Cent, Tim Thomas Boxing Challenge". RESPECT Magazine. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- Beck, Howard (October 4, 2005). "Bulls' Curry Is Traded to Knicks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "New York Knicks Acquire Eddy Curry In Five-Player... - NBA Trades". nbatrades.tumblr.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Chicago Sports News, Schedules & Scores - Chicago Tribune". www.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Suns Acquire Free Agent Tim Thomas".
- "Magic vs. Suns - Game Summary - March 3, 2006 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Lakers vs. Suns - Box Score - April 23, 2006 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Suns vs. Lakers - Game Recap - May 4, 2006 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- "Phoenix Clinches Series Over Lakers". NBA.
- "Tim Thomas joining Clippers". ESPN.com. July 13, 2006. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "NBA.com: Knicks not done dealing, pull off trade with Clippers". www.nba.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Sources: Knicks trade for Bulls' Hughes". Retrieved February 19, 2009.
- Bulls buy out Thomas?
- Tim Thomas won't play for Mavericks. Sports.espn.go.com (September 15, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.