Spurs get Thomas from Sonics for Barry, Elson

The San Antonio Spurs acquired center Kurt Thomas on Wednesday in exchange for guard Brent Barry, center Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick.

By acquiring Thomas, the Spurs get some needed size to help them counter Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal and Houston’s Yao Ming. They also are expected to drop under the luxury-tax threshold, possibly saving them about $2 million. In exchange, San Antonio will send the Sonics a portion of the savings.

While Barry has been sidelined with a calf injury, Ime Udoka has taken his place in the rotation and proven to be a dependable contributor with his defense and 3-point shooting. Elson’s inconsistency limited his role with the Spurs this season.

The Sonics, who also considered an offer from the Orlando Magic for Thomas, have now generated three first-round draft picks from Rashard Lewis’ sign-and-trade deal last summer.

If the Sonics waive Barry, as expected, before March 1, the veteran guard likely won't be hurting for suitors provided he proves he's healthy. Golden State and Phoenix, among other teams, would probably have interest in signing him.