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Bulls Begin Buyout Discussions with Tim Thomas

Shortly after the 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls began buyout discussions with Tim Thomas, the first step towards free agency for the 6'-10" Bulls forward. Thomas says four teams--the Nets, Spurs, Sixers and Heat--all have an interest in signing him. Thomas was reported to have said he would not negotiate a buyout and wants all the money he is owed. To make a playoff roster, Thomas would have to sign by next Wednesday. The Bulls said they would prefer he not go to a "direct competitor".