Bulls, Thomas fail to agree on new deal

Updated: November 3, 2009, 8:24 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Monday night's deadline for players from the 2006 NBA draft class to re-sign with their current teams came and went without a new deal for Tyrus Thomas.

The fourth-year forward will become a restricted free agent at the end of the year. The talk of Thomas' contract situation comes at an awkward time for the LSU alum. He did not play during the fourth quarter of the Bulls' loss to the Heat on Sunday night and was given a public pep talk by team captain Lindsey Hunter at the end of Monday's practice.

Thomas was ruled out of Tuesday night's game against the Bucks due to flu-like symptoms. Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro was asked before the game if he was unhappy with Thomas' performance this season and stated that he was unhappy with the team's performance as a whole.

When asked if Thomas had expressed any personal frustrations about his playing time, Del Negro said he hadn't spoken to Thomas about that directly, but would be willing to in the future, if asked.

"I haven't seen Tyrus -- he's sick. I haven't seen him all day," Del Negro said. "Next time I see him, if something's on his mind, he knows where to find me and we'll talk. But he just needs to get healthy right now and we got to focus in on tonight's game."

Thomas has averaged about eight points and five rebounds a game during his brief career.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.