The next time Chris Sheridan wonders why the average fan should care about salaries, the above average fan might want to check this out.

And after doing so, if he or she is a fan of the below average New York Knicks, said fan might wanna think about walking into traffic.

The Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allesandro is reporting that Chicago’s buyout of Tim Thomas’ contract will preclude a subsequent signing by New Jersey or Philadelphia.

Bulls GM John Paxson told agent Arn Tellem that he is determined to give Thomas the money he has left on his $14 million contract and allow him to become a free agent, but only if Thomas signs with San Antonio or Phoenix.

The negotiation continued yesterday with no settlement. But Paxson has control of the discussion: If Thomas is not waived by Wednesday, the Paterson native won’t be eligible for the playoffs regardless of what team he chooses to play for.

Entering the weekend, it was believed that Paxson didn’t want Thomas to go to Philadelphia, because the Bulls are chasing the Sixers for the eighth seed in the East. But the Nets have been added to his list of undesirables because they still have two games against Chicago this season.