Scotto: Nets Navigating Fast Lane on Way to Playoffs

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By the end of 2013, the Brooklyn Nets looked like a team needing as much construction as the Gowanus Expressway.

Since the start of 2014, Brooklyn has cruised up the Eastern Conference standings like a driver in the HOV lane.

SH Blog: Completed and failed trades on Thursday, Big Baby bought out by Magic

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If you were hoping for a blockbuster, “Woj Bomb” type of trade on Thursday, you were out of luck.

The trade deadline came and went on Thursday without any real stars packing their bags, but plenty of teams made relevant moves throughout the day to bolster their franchises in some way.

Our Chris Sheridan has the trade analysis of all the deals, but you can find more on everything that went down and everything else that fell through below.

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Trade deadline analysis – Wednesday’s deals change bench production for Nets, Warriors

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Sheridan is assessing each of today’s deals as they go down, but we don’t want to leave out the two deals that got done Wednesday.

SH Blog: Warriors acquire Steve Blake, Nets trade for Thornton, Clippers no longer looking for Shumpert deal

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With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, rumors have been rampant around the league throughout the day.

Can Cleveland find a taker for Luol Deng? How serious is Sacramento about moving MIP candidate Isaiah Thomas? Will the New York Knicks finally trade Iman Shumpert? Those are some of the many burning questions as general managers try to determine what will be the best course of action for their respective franchises. Some minor deals have already gone down on Wednesday, and plenty more juicy conversations are being had as you will find below:

BROOKLYN NETS ACQUIRE THORNTON AND LOOKING FOR MORE:

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Trash4Trash: Nets get slumping Thornton from Kings for old-timers Evans, Terry

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Marcus_Thornton_KingsHow 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.