The Knicks will release Kurt Thomas to open a roster spot that they will use to sign free-agent James Singleton, according to multiple reports.
The New York Daily News reports that the Knicks, 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. ESPNNY.com reports that the Knicks and Singleton have reached agreement on a contract so that he would be playoff-eligible.
Singleton, 31, played 12 games for the Wizards last season before spending the opening portion of this season in the Chinese Basketball Association. Singleton, a 6-foot-8 forward, holds career averages of 3.9 points and 3.7 rebounds in five seasons with the Clippers, Mavericks and Wizards.
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 New York's current 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 51-26 and clinched their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 this week. The franchise is seeking its first playoff-series victory since 2000.