While other teams jostled for big-name free-agent signings and blockbuster trades just days into this offseason, Oklahoma City remained patient and refused to blow its budget. But in one stroke on Monday, the Thunder landed two draft picks and one burly big man in a trade that might give the team a boost both now and in the future. The Thunder acquired 6-foot-10 center Etan Thomas and two 2010 second-round selections from Minnesota and sent reserve guards Damien Wilkins and Chucky Atkins to the Timberwolves. Thomas, a Tulsa native who won two state titles at Booker T. Washington High before jumping to Syracuse, could be the enforcer the Thunder lacked last season with his mix of rebounding, toughness, shot-blocking and physical play. Thomas, 31, also gives the Thunder a quality backup to starting center Nenad Krstic and allows Nick Collison to spend more time next season at his customary power forward position. “We are pleased to welcome Etan Thomas to the Thunder family,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti through a statement. “Etan adds experience and depth to our frontcourt as well as a defensive mentality and competitiveness that we value.” The Thunder will receive the Wolves’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, and Minnesota will ship a 2010 conditional second-round pick to Oklahoma City. The Thunder will get the lesser of the second-round slots between Houston, Portland and Chicago. The deal bumps Oklahoma City’s pick total in 2010 to five, including its own first- and second-round selections as well as Phoenix’s unprotected first-round pick. Thomas is owed $7.35 million in the final year of his contract, meaning the Thunder is gaining short-term relief in the middle while only slightly adding to its payroll and still maintaining its long-term financial flexibility. Originally the 12th overall pick in 2000 by Dallas, Thomas was traded to Washington in 2001 before appearing in a game with the Mavericks. He holds career averages of 6.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 17.9 minutes throughout his seven professional seasons. Thomas has been plagued by injuries and illness since turning pro, missing the entire 2007-08 season following open heart surgery to mend a leaking aortic valve. He returned to the court in 2008-09 but averaged just 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in only 26 games with the Wizards after tearing his MCL in mid-January. The Wizards sent Thomas to Wolves as part of the multi-player trade that sent this year’s No. 5 overall pick to Minnesota and Mike Miller and Randy Foye to Washington. The Thunder faced entering the season with Collison as the only experienced reserve big man behind Krstic. But the addition of Thomas gives rookies Serge Ibaka and Byron Mullens and second-year power forward D.J. White an experienced mentor and allows the Thunder to bring along its young post players slowly. The deal also frees up another roster spot, now giving the Thunder just 12 contract players. It could allow the Thunder to explore more signings or trades this summer or during the season — possibly paving the way for Desmond Mason’s re-signing or the addition of a third point guard to play behind starter Russell Westbrook and backup Shaun Livingston. Wilkins and Atkins were both in the final years of their contracts and weren’t in the plans going forward. Wilkins, 29, averaged 5.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 15.5 minutes in 41 games last year and grew frustrated with his role as the season went on. He seemingly would have played even less next season with the addition of No. 3 overall pick James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha returning for a full season. Atkins was acquired in the January trade that sent Johan Petro to Denver. The 34-year-old point guard played in only 18 games for the Thunder, averaging 3.9 points and 1.7 assists in 16.6 minutes. In a message on his Twitter account Monday night, Atkins wrote, “Good luck to all my OKC teammates and fans. Loved it.” With the departure of Wilkins, Collison is now the only player on the roster who Presti did not draft or acquire via free agency or a trade since taking over in 2007.