The Chicago Bulls made a determined attempt to lure veteran big man Kurt Thomas out of retirement this month before the recent signings of Lou Amundson and Greg Smith, according to sources with knowledge of Chicago's plans.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Bulls have been trying to convince Thomas, who's now 41 and ranked as the NBA's oldest player last season with the Knicks, to join them for the playoffs to lend some added know-how and toughness to their frontcourt rotation.
But Thomas has not played since last season and, according to sources, considers himself retired. The Dallas native and former TCU star was spotted last week at the American Airlines Center in his hometown to watch the Spurs and Mavs, two of his former teams, as a fan.
Thomas played for nine teams in his 18 seasons as a pro after leading the nation in scoring and rebounding at TCU in 1994-95. That included two stints with the Knicks -- including a trip to the NBA Finals in his debut season in New York in 1999 -- and a season with the Bulls in 2011.
A popular teammate wherever he's been with a lot of defensive know-how, Thomas is a prototypical Tom Thibodeau player. But the Bulls moved on when they couldn't convince Thomas to join them, signing Amundson to replace the waived Erik Murphy and Greg Smith to take the roster spot vacated by Monday's release of Tornike Shengalia.