How did the trade deadline frenzy begin? A coast-to-coast our-garbage-for-your-garbage deal.
The Brooklyn Nets got rid of two players they weren’t getting much from, sending Jason Terry and Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday for once-promising shooting guard Marcus Thornton.
Why did the Kings do it? They get rid of the second-highest paid player on their team – and an unproductive one at that – and get out from Thornton’s $8.4 million salary next season, cutting their 2014-15 payroll commitment by $1.3 million (if Rudy Gay exercises his $19.32 million option). Terry is under contract at $5.45 million for one more season and Evans is on the books for $1.77 million.
Why did the Nets do it? Because they must see something in the fifth-year guard who was putting up 18.2 points per game two seasons ago. Thornton’s scoring average fell to 12.2 ppg last season and 8.3 this season, and his shooting percentage is down from .429 to .381. But it should be noted that he broke the New Orleans Hornets franchise record for points in a quarter by scoring 23 in his rookie season of 2009-10.
The Nets also did it because they had seen enough of Terry, who scored in double figures only six times all season — not what the Nets expected when they acquired the former sharpshooter from Boston last summer along with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
More from our friends at Cowbell Kingdom: “Thornton had been the subject of trade rumors for much of this season. Last month, the Kings reportedly offered Thornton to the Denver Nuggets in a deal for veteran guard Andre Miller. Thornton was also rumored to be part of a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for veteran guard Jarrett Jack. The 26-year-old had struggled to find his place with the Kings this year and as a result, posted near career-low numbers. Through 46 games with the Kings, Thornton averaged just 8.3 points while shooting a career-worst 38.1 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from 3-point distance. Two years ago, Thornton led the Kings in scoring, averaging a team-high 18.7 points per contest. By acquiring Terry, the Kings add a veteran presence at point guard that they’ve been seeking since the departure of Greivis Vasquez. The 36-year-old guard, however, arrives in Sacramento having posted the worst numbers of his career. In 35 games this season, Terry has averaged just 4.5 points and 1.6 assists in 16.3 minutes per game.