The Bobcats will use their amnesty clause to waive forward Tyrus Thomas, according to multiple reports.
NBA.com reports the decision, noting that the move will help Charlotte land unrestricted free agent Al Jefferson. The Charlotte Observer also reports that Thomas has been informed by the Bobcats he will be released using the amnesty clause.
The free-agent negotiating period opened on Monday. Deals -- including an amnesty clause release -- can't officially be made until July 10.
Thomas, 26, averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.8 minutes over just 26 games last season, missing time earlier in the season with a calf injury. An athletic forward taken No. 4 overall in the 2006 draft, Thomas was signed to a five-year, $40 million deal by Charlotte in 2010 that looked like a mistake as soon as the ink dried.
After three unproductive seasons that saw him play in just 121 out of a possible 230 games, Thomas will soon enter a blind bidding pool, where teams that are under the salary cap can submit offers to take on a portion of his contract. Thomas is on the books for $8.7 million in 2013-14 and $9.4 million in 2014-15; if no bids are made in the blind pool, Thomas would become an unrestricted free agent. Per the terms of the amnesty clause provision, Thomas will still receive the salary owed to him by the Bobcats, but his contract will immediately be wiped from Charlotte's salary sheet for cap purposes. The Point Forward's Rob Mahoney identified Thomas as a possible amnesty clause candidate back in June, but he didn't expect Charlotte to go through with the move if they didn't have a big incoming free-agent signing to justify the cost. Reports indicate that the Bobcats and Jefferson have agreed to a three-year contract worth $41 million; using the amnesty clause on Thomas will ensure Charlotte is under the expected salary cap line after the Jefferson signing as they weigh their other roster decisions.