The San Antonio Spurs have acquired Kurt Thomas from the Seattle Supersonics in exchange for Francisco Elson, Brent Barry and a 2009 first round pick.
Why San Antonio Did This
The addition of veteran PF/C Kurt Thomas gives the Spurs a tough, physical defender to bang down low as well as an excellent rebounder on both the offensive and defensive boards. The Spurs did not sacrifice much in this deal as they gave up two guys that had fallen out of the rotation and added a player with an expiring contract.
Elson had fallen out of favor in San Antonio with Francisco Oberto getting much of the burn at center while Brent Barry's shooting slack can be picked up fairly easily by a combination of Michael Finley and Ime Udoka who was acquired this offseason and is a superior defender to Barry. Thomas is a clear upgrade at center over Oberto or Elson and will serve as an excellent complement to Tim Duncan.
Why Seattle Did This
Seattle gets 8.5 million dollars in expiring money in adding Elson and Barry; however, Thomas' contract is also expiring at season's end and is worth a little over 8 million. So in reality the Sonics get a 2009 first round pick out of this deal, most likely to fall in the late 20s, and save about 500k against the cap after the season. This is a fairly unimpressive haul by the Sonics as Kurt Thomas' value on the court coupled with his expiring deal should have allowed the teamto dump a bad contract in the deal.
San Antonio Spurs
Thomas should see good playing time at center in San Antonio, probably around 25-30 minutes a night. The Spurs have plenty of scorers with Parker, Ginobili and Duncan along with their host of perimeter shooters, so Thomas's main responsibilities will be rebounding and defending. He should continue to be a good source of rebounds (averaging 8.8/game on the season) and should contribute in blocks while putting up 6-8 points a night. In addition, keep an eye out for Ime Udoka given the departure of Barry and recent struggles of Michael Finley.
Brent Barry's small forward is currently being manned by this guy named Kevin Durant up in Seattle and I have a feeling he won't be unseating KD anytime soon. Barry definitely becomes an immediate buyout candidate. Elson joins a crowded Seattle frontcourt and should continue to be a non-factor in fantasy basketball.