Thursday , Feb , 21 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

San Antonio Spurs Improved with Kurt Thomas?

In a move necessitated by the ongoing beef-up of front lines in the Western Conference, the Spurs on Wednesday added some beef of their own.The Spurs sent injured guard Brent Barry, little-used center Francisco Elson and their first-round draft pick in 2009 to the Seattle SuperSonics for Kurt Thomas, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound veteran of 13 NBA seasons who gave them some matchup problems last spring during their Western Conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Suns.

Thomas averaged 7.5 points and 8.8 rebounds in 42 games for the Sonics this season.In the past few weeks both the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns, two of the Spurs’ prime rivals for Western Conference supremacy, got bigger and more talented up front. The Lakers traded for 7-footer Pau Gasol and the Suns gave up All-Star power forward Shawn Marion to get former MVP center Shaquille O’Neal.Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said trading for Thomas was not so much a response to those two deals as a recognition that the Western Conference has been more physical all season. Click here for more from the San Antonio Express News.