Thomas Minus 48 Hours

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

There's just a few more hours,
That's all the time you've got.
A few more hours
Before the time's allot.

Etan Thomas has given no indication that he wants to be a Buck beyond point out the simple fact that Milwaukee has fewer big men on their roster than Washington, and that therefore he could likely be a starter there. Yet in a matter of 48 hours, he could well find himself far removed from the impassioned political scene in Washington, D.C. unless Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld matches Milwaukee's offer.

Grunfeld, a former front office honcho with the Bucks, is playing it coy with his former employer and not giving any indication of which way he is leaning. Thomas is indeed right: while he has been a valuable member of the Wizards franchise, he is not and likely would not be a starter. Kwame Brown and Brendan Haywood are younger and have in the past earned more playing time, and nothing is expected to change there.

However, Thomas is an excellent backup, in the mold of a Charles Oakley, and would easily start on a team with a less-loaded frontcourt. Let's put it this way: the Bucks are not hoping that the Wizards will match. They really want to get their man.

My personal opinion is that Thomas would prefer to stay. However, he can't simply say to the Bucks that he is using their offer to try to get matched into a long-term deal by the Wizards. Indeed, if the Wizards decide to pass, Thomas will find himself in Milwaukee, and he doesn't want to alienate himself from his potential future employer.

But I bet he really wants to stay. The fact that the Wizards haven't yet exercised their option to match him probably makes him a little uneasy, unless they have hinted to him their plans. In that vein, here's the rest of the appropriately-modified song made famous inMy Fair Lady:

Oh, I'm getting traded in the morning
Ding, dong my cell phone's gonna ring!
I kicked up an offer,
Please open your coffer,
Don't ship me to the Bucks (Don't ship him to the Bucks)
For Gawd's sake don't ship me to the Bucks the twenty-ninth!

You can shop at the Wizards team storewhere you can personalized jerseys with your name and number.


Charles F. Gardner ofThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinelwrites: The waiting game continues for the Milwaukee Bucks, who probably won't know until Thursday whether the Washington Wizards will match their offer sheet to restricted free agent Etan Thomas.On July 14, the 6-foot-10 Thomas signed a six-year offer sheet with the Bucks, a deal reported to be worth between $37 million and $39 million, or roughly the team's full midlevel exception. The Wizards have a 15-day period to match the offer, or he will become a member of the Bucks. "We won't know the outcome until Thursday," Bucks general manager Larry Harris said. Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld, reached at his office on Monday afternoon, would give no hints about whether Washington will match the offer. "I think it's the 29th," Grunfeld said of the deadline. "By then, we will have an answer."

The Sports Networkwrites onWOAI.com:Heard, who served as the head coach of the Washington Wizards for a portion of the 1999-2000 season, will be re-united with Larry Brown, who had the former NBA player on his staffs at Indiana and Philadelphia.Heard will be making his second stop as a Pistons assistant, having previously spent the 1998-99 under former coach Alvin Gentry.