�We are doing everything we can to keep our core group together. Sometimes in doing so, you have difficult decisions to make,� said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.
�We feel good going forward having our core group of players under contract for several years, including the recent addition of free-agent Grant Hill. The bottom line is there are tough decisions to make, but we have flexibility and our core together. We really like the group of players we�ve assembled and feel we can make a legitimate run for an NBA championship next season.�
Phoenix will send Seattle its own 2008 and 2010 first-round picks. The Suns will receive a conditional 2009 second-round pick from Seattle (via Orlando).
Thomas, a 12-year NBA veteran, spent the last two seasons with the Suns after he was acquired from the New York Knicks on June 28, 2005 along with the draft rights to Dijon Thompson (54th overall pick in 2005 NBA Draft) for Quentin Richardson and the draft rights to Nate Robinson (21st overall). The 6-9, 235-pound center averaged 6.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 21.8 minutes in 120 games (63 starts) with Phoenix.
Most recently, Thomas, 34, averaged 4.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 18.0 minutes in 67 games (13 starts) with the Suns last season, including 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 19.3 minutes in 11 games (five starts) in the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
Originally the 10th overall selection in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Thomas owns career averages of 10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 27.8 minutes in 747 games (526 starts) with four teams (Miami, Dallas, New York, Phoenix).