The Denver Nuggets have a nine million dollar trade exception. The Club has to use the trade exception before the end of the summer before it “expires”. Brooklyn Nets guard Marcus Thornton is owed $8.697M next season, which is the last year of his current contract. The Nets are reportedly in talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers trying to acquire Jarrett Jack. Doing so would reduce the Nets payroll by $2.3M for next season but Jack is signed through to the 2016-17 season.
The Denver Nuggets have Randy Foye. Foye is set to make only $3M for each the next two seasons. That would represent $6M in savings per season for the Brooklyn Nets. This may not help the Nets in the short term in trying to keep Shaun Livingston but long term it helps them get out of luxury tax purgatory. Also, the Nets have zero picks in the upcoming draft. The Denver Nuggets have two picks in the second round alone. Randy Foye and a 2nd round draft pick for Marcus Thornton may not sound as sexy as acquiring Jarrett Jack but it is logical.
Last off season, the Denver Nuggets were rumored to be in the Monta Ellis sweepstakes. Marcus Thornton is almost two years younger than Ellis. In many respects, Thornton’s game is much like Ellis’ game but less refined. In hindsight, with all due respect to Randy Foye, I wish the Nuggets would have signed Ellis instead of Foye and Hickson. Ironic since I’m hoping the Nuggets use the trade exception we received from acquiring Foye to get Marcus Thornton.
When Thornton catches fire shooting, he is a spark a la Nate Robinson. Thornton’s shot can drop from anywhere on the court but when he is slashing his way through the paint, you know he is on his game. Unlike Robinson though, his ability to find teammates when going through the paint is a downfall.
2011-12 was the last season Marcus Thornton was a full time starter but I don’t think I’m stretching reality much dropping him back into a starter’s role. With the Nuggets hopefully drafting a shooting guard this Thursday in the NBA draft AND having Evan Fournier already on the roster, Thornton is a one year risk worth taking.