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D'Alessandro: Thomas Buyout Could be Done by Monday

The buyout of Tim Thomas could get done by Sunday or Monday, Dave D'Alessandro reported during the WFAN halftime show Friday night. D'Alessando said he spoke with Thomas earlier Friday.

"It's not going to happen today, but I'll find out more later when I talk to Arn," D'Alessandro quoted Thomas as saying, "I'm pretty sure they're talking some more today."

Thomas has not played since he was told by coach Scott Skiles to go home in November.

D'Alessandro added that before he releases Thomas, Bulls GM John Paxson wants assurances from Arne Tellem, Thomas's agent, that the 6'-10" forward will not sign with the Sixers who the Bulls are chasing. Paxson is in discussions with Thomas's agent.

"Pax wants to make sure of that. If he gets assurance of that, it should get done by Sunday or Monday," said the Star-Ledger beat writer. He added that Thomas should not have a problem being waived by Wednesday's deadline for playoff rosters no matter what the issues are. D'Alessandro added that Thomas need only be waived by Wednesday, not necessarily signed. He could be waived earlier in the week and not sign til Friday. Thomas has said he wants to take some time before committing to any team, but has not decided whether he will visit with teams before making his decision.

Other than the Nets and Sixers, the Spurs and Heat have expressed some interest in Thomas.

He will get no more than the veteran's minimum, which pro-rated shouldn't be more than. $400,000

"I think he can help," said D'Alessandro.

Tim Capstraw, the Nets radio color man, noted that Thomas is long and active and has real value. Both agreed that playing with Jason Kidd could help him recover from a bad reputation.

"Thomas wouldnt be the first player whose play has been elevated by the play of Jason Kidd," added D'Alessandro. He compared Thomas to Donyell Marshall in that Marshall received a big contract early in his career and was criticized for not living up to expectations. Then, Marshall went to Utah, where John Stockton helped resurrect his career. The same could happen with Thomas and Kidd.

"Timmy's got talent, but he has to buy into defense-first," concluded D'Alessandro. "It could be a beautiful marriage."