Tyrus Thomas was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft out of LSU. Selected by the Chicago Bulls, Thomas (now 29) never quite lived up to his draft spot, and eventually played for the Bobcats for a few disappointing seasons before being amnestied and disappearing entirely for a year.
After a stint in the D-League and a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies last season, Thomas thinks he has what it takes to make a return to the NBA full-time. Here’s what he recently had to say to Basketball Insiders:
Thomas has been working out with a trainer in San Antonio and getting ready for the 2015-16 campaign. He’s feeling significantly better than he did during his time in Memphis, and he’s looking forward to showcasing what he can do now that he’s much closer to full strength.
“Physically, I’m doing fine now,” Thomas said. “I’m in San Antonio training and just the biggest thing right now for me has just been conditioning and strength, just getting back to 100 percent.
“In hindsight, when I signed with Memphis, I think I was only at about 50 percent. So right now, it’s been just getting my body all the way where it needs to be with strength, weights and conditioning. That’s really my main focus right now and if I can get those things where I want them to be, the other things won’t be so hard.”
It’s very possible that Thomas ends up on a training camp roster and gets a chance to make an NBA team through that route, rather than having to play in the D-League once again.
“I talked to my agent and we are just trying to see what’s the best fit,” Thomas said of his training camp options. “I would love to be on a training camp roster. What I do understand is that now I have to take a different path than [in the past] and a different path than I’m used to. I’m sure that I’ll be healthy enough to do what I have to do to make a team if I do make a training camp roster.”
Teams know what Thomas will provide on the court, but he wants to stress that any franchise that adds him will also be getting a positive locker room presence. Those in Memphis spoke highly of his brief time there, and it’s clear that the forward has matured and – now at 29 years old – wants to be a veteran leader.