SAN ANTONIO The San Antonio Spurs acquired veteran forward Kurt Thomas from the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night for guard Brent Barry, center Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick.
The 6-foot-9 Thomas, in his 13th NBA season, gives the defending NBA champions much-needed size to complement Tim Duncan. In 42 games with the SuperSonics, the former Texas Christian star averaged 7.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.
"We need things that they don't and they need things that may not fit here right now," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. "Hopefully the addition of Kurt will strengthen our playoff push."
The SuperSonics acquired the 35-year-old Thomas from Phoenix in July. Thomas, taken by Miami in the first round of the 1995 draft, also has played for Dallas and New York.
"I think the landscape of the West has put a premium on interior defense," Buford said. "Now with the trades of recent days, that's only improved."
Shaquille O'Neal was recently traded to the Phoenix Suns, and Memphis traded 7-footer Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sonics general manager Sam Presti moved forward with the trade mostly for the draft pick. Seattle has 13 draft picks over the next three years, including six in the first round two each season.
"Looking at the first-round pick, in combination with our other future picks, we have great flexibility to add to our core or acquire another impact player in the future," Presti said. "At the same time, Kurt is a tremendous person and player, and I appreciate his contributions this season and wish him success."
Along with the first-rounder, Seattle gets the expiring contracts of Barry and Elson, which combined with trade exception money left over from trades involving Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, should give the Sonics flexibility under the salary cap.