Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team

OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, UNITED STATES: (Photo credit: JOHN G. MABANGLO/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks, Tim Thomas
8 Apr 2001: Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr /Allsport /

Milwaukee Bucks: Meet the 2000s All-Decade Team – Tim Thomas

The Bucks’ ‘Big 3′ era was obviously headlined by the talents of Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson, but equally important to their run was Tim Thomas.

A 6’10” forward who had a nice mix of size, skill, athleticism and versatility, the Bucks acquired Thomas, along with Scott Williams, from the Philadelphia 76ers on the day of the NBA trade deadline during the aforementioned lockout-shortened season in 1998-99.

In Thomas, the Bucks boasted an enticing sixth man who could do a little bit of everything to supplement the talents of the team’s star players and Allen had long spoken of Thomas’ potential as he said the following to ESPN’s David Aldridge in October of 2002:

"“I’ve always said that Timmy can be the best player in the NBA,” Allen said. “He’s long, he’s talented, he’s 6-(foot)-8½, 6-9. He can shoot the ball as well as I can. He can put the ball on the floor. He can post up. He can basically do everything out there on the floor.”"

The change of scenery following the trade from Philly immediately helped the Villanova product show that tantalizing skill set and potential and the Bucks promptly committed to a six-year, $67 million deal in the summer of 2000.

The weight and expectations of that deal eventually soured Thomas’ time in Milwaukee, but he managed to remain a critical contributor, especially during their peak in 2000-01 where they fell one game short of reaching the NBA Finals. That same year, Thomas was the runner up in Sixth Man of the Year voting, falling to Aaron McKie of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Once Robinson left via trade to the Atlanta Hawks, Thomas took on the starting small forward role starting in the 2002-03 season. The increased opportunity and playing time did nothing to transform his play nor prevent him from feeling the wrath of head coach George Karl, whom Thomas feuded with and stopped speaking to at the end of Karl’s tenure in Milwaukee.

After five-and-a-half seasons, Thomas’ time in Milwaukee came to an end midway through the 2003-04 season when he was sent to the New York Knicks in a three-team deal.

In his 385 appearances with the Bucks, Thomas averaged 12.2 points on a .442/.361/.763 slash line, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.9 steals across 27.2 minutes per game.