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Originally published February 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 20, 2008 at 9:46 PM

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Sonics trade Kurt Thomas to Spurs

The Sonics have traded Kurt Thomas to the San Antonio Spurs for center Francisco Elson, injured guard Brent Barry and a 2009 first-round draft pick.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Sonics have traded Kurt Thomas to the San Antonio Spurs for center Francisco Elson, injured guard Brent Barry and a 2009 first-round draft pick.

Elson and Barry, a former Sonic, have contracts that expire after the season.

"Kurt Thomas is a tough, physical player who can defend, score and rebound," Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a statement. "We feel he will be a great addition to our roster and will add depth to our frontcourt."

In 42 games with the Sonics this season, Thomas, a 6-foot-9 power forward, averaged 7.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.

In his final game with the team, a 108-101 victory against Memphis Tuesday at KeyArena, Thomas made all four shots and finished with eight points and five rebounds. He played just 14 minutes, his fewest since Nov. 14.

"For everything he's done in the NBA and what he brings to a team and what he brought to this team, I learned a lot being around him," Sonics guard Earl Watson said. "Especially on the court and off the court. Rarely do you get a big man who knows the game like a guard. I expect to see his numbers improve because of the type of guys around him.

"Out of respect to the game and his career, you respect the veterans and you do things like this for them. The way our season was going, it would be nice to see him end up on a playoff roster and nice to compete to a championship. So I'm excited for him and I'm excited to see him in the postseason."

Thomas' departure clears room on the roster to allow coach P.J. Carlesimo to play prospects Robert Swift and Johan Petro.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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