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NBA: Why Ex-Bulls F Tyrus Thomas Never Lived Up To First-Round Hype


It’s been a long career for former first-round pick Tyrus Thomas and his basketball journey isn’t ending just yet, as the 6’9 forward is expected to join the D-League Iowa Energy.

Thomas was a standout in his short college career, leading the LSU Tigers to with 12.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and an impressive 3.1 blocks per game. He led the team to the 2006 Final Four, the team’s first since 1986. As a result, Thomas entered the NBA Draft where he was selected fourth overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Thomas’ Portland days were short-lived as he was traded to the Chicago Bulls for a package that sent LaMarcus Aldridge to Portland. The former LSU Tiger never really flashed his enormous potential during his early NBA years, averaging 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds his rookie year, and 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds his sophomore campaign. Meanwhile, Aldridge went on to average 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds during his second NBA season.

Thomas hasn’t played in the NBA since the  2012-13 season. During his career in the NBA Thomas only had three seasons of double digit scoring, all of which were no greater than 10.8 points. He also missed 50 or more games in three seasons. During his time in the Rose City, Aldridge has become one of the NBA’s most dominating forces. For his career, Aldridge averages 19.1 points and 8.3 rebounds, and is a three-time NBA All-Star.

Thomas might get another shot in the NBA, but it will not be enough to overshadow the career of Aldridge. Thomas will never be an All-Star, nor average more than 10.1 points for his career, but he might make the Iowa Energy a better team, and right now that’s all he can do.


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