Report: Barry opts to return to Spurs, eschews Suns

Guard Brent Barry, who was a key contributor on last season's championship team for the Spurs, is returning to San Antonio.

The Spurs, who traded Barry to the Seattle SuperSonics last Thursday as part of their package for forward Kurt Thomas, are set to reacquire him after he was released by the Sonics and cleared waivers Tuesday, according to a newspaper report.

The Arizona Republic reported that Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr said he was told by Barry on Thursday that the 13-year veteran has opted to return to San Antonio and not accept Phoenix's offer.

"I spoke with Brent and he informed me he was going to stay in San Antonio," Kerr said. "He said that it was a tough decision but he's going to stay."

Among the reported suitors for Barry were the Mavericks, Celtics and Suns, who were looking for a shooting guard to give them more options on the bench.

The paper reported that Barry will play for the veteran's minimum salary for the remainder of this season and next season with the Spurs, although
league rules mandate that the Spurs must wait until March 21 to officially sign him.

Barry was included along with center Francisco Elson and a 2009 first-round draft pick in the multiplayer trade that brought the 6-foot-9 Thomas to the Spurs. Thomas was brought in to give the defending NBA champions much-needed size to complement Tim Duncan.

Barry, who originally signed as a free agent with San Antonio in July 2004, had averaged 7.3 points in 29 games for San Antonio this season. The 36-year-old guard has been sidelined the last several weeks by a calf injury.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.