Knicks officially release Kurt Thomas, sign Solomon Jones
The Knicks announced the release of veteran forward Kurt Thomas and the signing of free-agent forward Solomon Jones on Friday.
Multiple reports indicated on Wednesday that the Knicks planned to waive Thomas to create a roster spot to accommodate the signing of free-agent forward James Singleton. The reported agreement with Singleton, the New York Times reported, “fell through.”
New York, currently the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed, will make the roster shuffle roughly three weeks after Thomas suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. With Thomas, the Knicks’ roster had been full at 15 players. Jones will be playoff-eligible because he was not on an NBA roster this season and Newsday reported he would be available for a Friday night game against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
Jones, 28, played 21 games for the Clippers and Hornets last season before spending the opening portion of this season in the Chinese Basketball Association. Jones, a 6-foot-10 forward, holds career averages of 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in six seasons with the Hawks, Pacers, Clippers and Hornets.
Thomas, 40, was the NBA’s oldest player this season. He was expected to be sidelined two-to-four weeks after an MRI in March revealed an acute stress reaction surrounding a chronic stress fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot. The New York Daily News reports he will undergo surgery next week.
On a minimum contract of $1.4 million that was set to expire after the season, Thomas was acquired in a 2012 trade with the Blazers. He averaged 2.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game this season and was called into heavier action when the Knicks lost Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire to knee injuries in March. Thomas finished with six points and three rebounds in a season-high 26 minutes in his final game with the Knicks, a road win over Utah on March 18 that snapped a four-game losing streak and kicked off a 13-game winning streak.
Thomas, the No. 10 pick in the 1995 draft, holds averages of 8.1 points and 6.6 rebounds during an 18-year career that included stops with the Heat, Mavericks, Knicks, Suns, SuperSonics, Spurs, Bucks, Bulls and Blazers.
The Knicks are 51-27 and clinched their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 this week. The franchise is seeking its first playoff-series victory since 2000.