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January 01, 2012

Silas takes a stand on White vs. Thomas

Clearly, the most interesting post-game element in the Charlotte Bobcats' stinker performance in Miami Sunday was what coach Paul Silas had to say about D.J. White and Tyrus Thomas at power forward.

Sideline reporter Stephanie Ready asked Silas if he anticipated a "problem'' figuring out how to keep using White once Thomas returns from an ankle sprain. Silas made it clear that if there would be a problem, it wasn't Silas'.

"He's going to play now,'' Silas said of White, who scored a career-high 21 points on 10-of-12 shooting in Miami. "Tyrus is going to have to show that he can play better.''

That seemed a pretty clear statement that White has played well enough that he's no longer a place-setter in the starting lineup for when Thomas returns from a left ankle sprain. Thomas has yet to play or practice since suffering the injury late in the first of two preseason exhibitions against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bobcats called that sprain "mild'' but I could tell the way Thomas described the pain that first night that he was hurting. He's just recently been cleared to run on a treadmill, but Silas said Thomas' lateral movement is the issue. They hope he's ready to play sometime this week.

But not automatically as the starter. There was no ambiguity in Silas' words. Silas wants Thomas to earn it, and that's never a bad thing.

White and Thomas play the same position, but they are such dramatically different players. Thomas is long and remarkably athletic. White is a couple of inches shorter, doesn't have nearly as much potential, but he plays with an efficiency Thomas so far lacks.

White's jump shot is reliable and he seldom tries to do things beyond his ability. Thomas isn't that guy yet, but I've seen a real effort the last few weeks by Thomas to be more mature --  more receptive, more composed. He needed for that to happen.

Of course, the other diference in Thomas and White is the Bobcats' obligation to each: The Bobcats owe Thomas for the next four season at an average salary of over $8 million. After paying White about $2 million this season, the Bobcats could watch White walk and owe him nothing.

I'm guessing Thomas becomes the long-term starter, but, as I said, he'll have to earn it. It speaks to how this was done when Silas was a player, and salary caps, guarantees and amnesty clauses shouldn't trivialize athletes earning their playing time.

Posted by Observer Sports on January 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Permalink


Rick, any chance we go after cousins now that he has demanded a trade from Sacremento? Young, talented and someone Silas could work with.

Posted by: WMFD | Jan 1, 2012 11:01:25 PM

I would never dismiss the tradingest team in major-league sports exploring anything. But your words were "someone Silas could work with.''
The reason he wasn't the first pick was how hard is he is to work with. The reason he wants a trade is he became the guy the Kings couldn't work with. Paul is great with people, but he's not a magician. Anyone would tread lightly in what you would give up to become the next Cousins experiment.

Posted by: rick bonnell | Jan 1, 2012 11:24:08 PM

Thanks for the response. I guess I was thinking Derrick Coleman, Stephen Jackson, etc. Cousins is a great player, but you are right, it would take magic to make him a team player.....

Posted by: WMFD | Jan 1, 2012 11:35:23 PM

Wow this is a huge statement coming from Silas because the game was horrendous that made me look bad when i told my fiends, who are Heat fans, that Bobcats will fight until the end.

I want to see more Kemba and Bismack well maybe players that Rich Cho made a deal on such as Mullens, White, and Reggie Williams.

Other players better play together as a cohesive unit because we are not Miami Heat. It seemed that was not part of the team last night when bad shot was taken without movement.

Posted by: vinh | Jan 2, 2012 2:34:58 AM

another heart break... :-( as a fan.. got to suck it up and stick with the team.. and im not even from charlotte.. :-(

Posted by: arky | Jan 2, 2012 6:47:44 AM

I would like to try trading for Cousins, particularly if we could deal Tyrus for him. Both players are an experiment, but we owe Thomas far too many $ versus the return we're likely to see. Perhaps Silas could work his magic with this guy, or MJ can toughen him up in a positive way. The man has the talent to be a superstar, and we desperately need one.

Posted by: Bassman | Jan 2, 2012 7:25:50 AM

Would love to trade Thomas if someone would take. The team should do everything they can to unload that contract. When someone calls for Boris. And they will. Package Thomas or Diop please.

Posted by: Davis | Jan 2, 2012 8:06:47 AM

I would actually rather they unload maggette and start boris thomas and white. Both thomas and boris could play some 3. And 5 really. Thomas isn't sure enough on the handle but he could work on that.

Cousins is a bad fit, not unless were getting handed the guy in exchange for bad contracts which wont likely happen. Watch for a blatche for cousins deal. Or watch for orlando or boston to do something. There aren't a lot of teams I could see wanting the guy honestly. He could be rashad mccants real soon.

As for the game....we came out cold. You can't when you are one of the worst playing one of the best. They even beat orlando this bad so no worries from this game. Poor shooting from the starters and it was over. Good game to get some run time for biz and brown and walker.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 2, 2012 11:28:43 AM

Potentially trading for Cousins is intriguing. He is an all-NBA type talent, but seems to be missing some of the finer mental aspects. Sounds a lot like Stephen Jackson earlier in his career, or Derek Coleman back when he was a Hornet. It took both players many years to reach a peace with themselves, before they really became usable players. And even that term can be argued.

Would I trade for Cousins? No. Yes. Maybe. Depends on what we would have to give up to acquire someone of his talent. But would like to see Silas given the chance to coach him up. Would make a nice frontline rotations with Cousins, Bismack, Thomas. White, Mullens, Diaw.

That would be a nice 'problem' to have.

Posted by: mlbriggs24 | Jan 2, 2012 3:20:43 PM

So far with all the hype, I'm disappointed with Corey Maggette performance. As a veteran on this team, he hasn't shown that 20 points scale that Silas charged him with....his short are inconsistent, always in foul trouble and he does a terrible job guarding superstars. I'm not sure if given up Jackson was the right thing, but each of them are different players with different talents, skills and moral problem.

Posted by: bobcat | Jan 2, 2012 5:24:02 PM

giving up jackson for maggette WAS the right thing. maggette we can bench after he continues to struggle. jack had games like this last year. the difference is, he would get himself ejected after starting 0-6 so it just looked like he got ejected instead of sucking and getting benched.

jackson is no doubt better than maggette but it's not big enough of a margin to deal with the BS plus we got biyombo out of the deal. the killer was losing livingston. i would much rather have livingston at the end of the bench than higgins and i'd rather be looking at a livingston/walker backcourt than carroll/walker on the 2nd team.

but yea for cousins......i'd give a diop for cousins or a maggette for cousins a lot of thought. but anything else? absolutely not. and people comparing him and beasley are nuts. beasley was way better in college and way better in pros. and beasley was obtained for a 2nd round pick. so if i was an nba gm....that's the market value for the guy. nothing more. no way you would bring him in to be a pain AND take minutes away from white/thomas/biyombo/mullens/etc. but if we could get him for diop? hell yea. i'd throw in a conditional 1st for that deal. anything not top 10 they can have it. maybe even top 8.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 2, 2012 5:42:19 PM

Trade Boris Diaw,D.Diop and cash considerations for Cousins and a 2nd round pick

Posted by: Rahshon Gamble | Jan 2, 2012 8:59:43 PM

So when is Kemba gonna win the job over DJ?

Posted by: sjax | Jan 2, 2012 9:32:58 PM

I like Charlottean's idea of playing Boris, Thomas, and White together. From what I've seen, Boris and Tyrus(once he heals) can guard 3's on the perimeter. Heck, maybe shutting down star 3's should be Thomas's focus on this sort of roster. And this would allow for Biyombo to slide in for continued PT.

It's frustrating to have so many young pieces overlapping in position who need experience. We have plenty of guys who could be part of a winning rotation. Who will emerge to be something special?

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Jan 2, 2012 10:00:45 PM

Kemba Walker could very well be a solid starter as long as we have Boris on the floor with him. Boris will make sure the ball keeps moving when Kemba won't.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Jan 2, 2012 10:04:35 PM

Agreed, but he is way better suited for the role he has played thus far. Sans the horrible shooting game Sunday, augustin has played very well.

Im interested to see what happens with white. 5 Gets you ten dude is playing his way out of town and signs a tyrus thomas esque contract this summer with like new jersey or detroit or someone. If they aren't going to keep him, I sure hope they trade him.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 3, 2012 8:29:33 AM

Remind me: Do we have our first round pick plus New Orleans in the draft this year? If we could trade away Humpty Dumpty, I mean Tyrus Thomas, plus get two good and cheap guys in the draft we should have pleanty of space and talen moving forward.

Posted by: Nick | Jan 3, 2012 9:08:44 AM

believe the pick we owe chicago is still lottery protected this coming draft and that the pick we're owed from the wallace deal is a 2013 pick. could be wrong, that's off the top.

anybody notice the brilliant officiating of sunday's game? augustin called for an offensive foul while dribbling on a guy (chalmers) that was moving and not even in front of him. then the best was the clear path call that was reversed because........?

i mean that was just pathetic. no other league at any level has that consistently ridiculous officiating. nfl has its share of errors, baseball too, but nba they just let these guys run wild without referencing the actual rule book. EVERY game it's that way. it's just unacceptable.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 3, 2012 11:16:30 AM

The pick from the Wallace trade is actually Portland's pick and is in 2013. The New Orlean's pick was the 19th pick we traded to get Bismack Biyombo this year.

@Rahshon Gamble: what makes you think that the Kings will make that trade? That trade is not even a salary dump for the Kings, Cousins is "problematic" but is not like the Kings will just give him away.

Posted by: RobC | Jan 3, 2012 3:15:19 PM

and they def. won't take back bad salaries either. they MIGHT send him out for a low draft pick or cheap prospect but they aren't thinking diop. diaw actually WOULD be somebody they would consider (along with some cash) but that wouldn't make sense for us.

why are we even talking about this dude....guy has the most ridiculous trade scenarios ever. i think dude is 11 years old. seriously.

Posted by: charlottean | Jan 3, 2012 10:54:26 PM

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