CHICAGO (AP) – Forward Tim Thomas apparently will not play again for the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times reported in Tuesday’s editions the sides agreed to split, with the Bulls attempting to honor Thomas’ trade request. Thomas, who is in New York tending to a family matter, will continue to collect his $14 million salary.

The Bulls are not expected to release or buy out Thomas, a free agent after the season, because his contract might be attractive to teams looking to slash payroll. The trade deadline is Feb. 23.

“He wants to play,” general manager John Paxson told the Tribune. “We’re in a position where it’s probably not going to happen here.”

Thomas, averaging 4.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 10.7 minutes in three appearances, had made it clear he was not happy in a limited role. He has averaged 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds, but hasn’t met expectations that accompanied him from Villanova to the NBA in 1997.

The Bulls acquired Thomas and starting forward Michael Sweetney in the deal that sent Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis to New York before the start of training camp. Chicago made that trade after Curry refused to submit to a DNA test to rule out a potentially fatal heart condition.

Thomas never fit in with the Bulls. He sprained both ankles and appeared in just three preseason games.

“There was no conflict with Tim or anything like that,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said before Tuesday’s game against Orlando. “Tim … is a nice guy. Where he’s at in his career is not necessarily compatible with where we’re going.”


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