“I can’t believe he played this good once” – Marcus Thornton
(NOTE: This article was first published in August 2014)
This upcoming season will be Thornton’s 6th in the league and he still is looking for a home in the league as the Boston Celtics will be 4th team.
Thornton, a 6-foot-4, 205-pounder, averaged 8.3 PPG, 2.7 REB, 1.0 AST and 0.7 STL in his 46 games (26 starts) with the Kings last season and 12.3 PPG, 2.8 REB, 1.2 AST and 1.0 STL in the 26 games (1 start) after his trade, with the Nets. Thornton is known as a scorer almost exclusively and he can shoot 3-pointers. Although he only shot 31.8% for the Kings last season BUT after he left Sacramento and went to a more regimented offense in Brooklyn, his numbers skyrocketed to 38% – a jump that takes him from “Why is he even shooting 3-pointers?” to “Keep on jacking, Marcus.”
In the 2010-2011 season after his trade from New Orleans to the Kings he averaged 21.3 PPG, 4.7 REB, 3.4 AST and 1.7 STL in his 27 games (21 starts) followed by a strong (lockout) season the year after with 18.7 PPG, 3.7 REB, 1.9 AST and 1.4 STL in 51 games (all starts). He looked very strong and was far more than just a role player. He seemed to have found a basketball home only to Gongfu Tea Cup himself in exactly the bench role he has had before his trade to the Kings. That is his role until today; Marcus Thornton – role player!
He still is young enough to meet with success once again and he might be the right guy for the Celtics – and the Celtics might be the right team for him for the next season. The Celtics will have the ability to clear more salary cap space for next summer by letting him go or by dealing him to another team that is looking to clear cap space. His looks with the Celtics will likely be 3-pointers. He realistically couldn’t ask for much more in a contract year when teams are overpaying for decent 3-point shooters (e.g Jodie Meeks).