The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

Kurt Thomas Dealt to Spurs

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 20, 2008

Yahoo Sports is reporting that the San Antoinio Spurs have acquired Kurt Thomas from the Seattle Super Sonics for Francisco Elson, Brent Barry, and a 2009 1st round pick.

On the surface, this deal doesn’t seem to be a huge upgrade for either team. However, the Sonics receive two expiring contracts and yet another draft pick, while the Spurs upgrade at the backup center position.

For the Sonics, the two expiring deals aren’t a huge deal since Thomas was expiring, himself, so they effectively got a future first rounder for him. They are still set to have a sizable chunk of cap room in 2008-09 and 2009-10, plus at least one lottery pick (their own this year) and seven other first rounders (’08 and ‘10 from Phoenix, ‘09 from San Antonio, two from Orlando, and their own ‘09 and ‘10 picks) across the next three years. Thus, the Sonics have put themselves in a great position to build around Kevin Durant in the next few years.

For the Spurs, Thomas is an upgrade defensively over Elson and adds a scoring (7.5), rebounding (8.8), and experience (13 years experience plus 60 playoff games) upgrade as well. Thomas is a Spurs-style player, an efficient defensive machine who can guard the best big men in the West. Foremost, this lessens the burden on Tim Duncan defensively, allowing him to save fuel for the offensive end and for later in the season. It also gives the Spurs an option outside of Fabricio Oberto to pair with Duncan against the Western Conference teams with a lot of size (Phoenix and the Lakers come to mind).

For my money, this is more of a defensive trade for the Spurs as it effectively keeps other Western Conference teams from dealing for Thomas to defend against Duncan (the Hornets and Mavericks were among those rumored). While all San Antonio ends of the deal some to make sense, this trade officially rules them out from other deals (e.g. the heavily rumored Artest trade) because they moved two of their biggest assets with those expiring contracts. The Spurs could still move Horry, Oberto, and Finley (combined $10M expiring) but a move like that would leave them with questionable depth, even if they could get an Artest-type player in return.

This is a smart deal for both teams, but its consequences won’t really be felt until the playoffs come.

One Response to “Kurt Thomas Dealt to Spurs”

  1. Blake Murphy Says:

    By the way, I’m on fire. I beat ESPN and RealGM in reporting this one, and I beat Hollinger (ESPN) in getting a Bibby blog up. Real talk.

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