Bucks ready to offer Thomas $35M contract

Deal would be for 6 years, but Wizards could match

July 13, 2004|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

The Milwaukee Bucks are poised to offer Washington Wizards reserve center Etan Thomas a six-year contract worth in excess of $35 million when the moratorium on NBA free-agent signings expires tomorrow, a source familiar with the negotiations said last night.

Thomas, who finished tied for 18th in the NBA in total blocked shots last season, averaged 8.9 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for Washington in 79 games.

According to the source, the Bucks are expected to offer Thomas the full mid-level exception, which should be around $5 million per season.

Because Thomas, who has played three years, is a restricted free agent, the Wizards will have until July 29 to match the offer. Ernie Grunfeld, Washington's president of basketball operations, could not be reached for comment last night.

However, previously,Grunfeld has indicated that the Wizards likely would match any offer for Thomas, a favorite of coach Eddie Jordan.

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