ESPN The Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of a trade that would send Jason Terry and Reggie Evans to the Sacramento Kings for Marcus Thornton, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets’ first choice was to trade for Cleveland’s Jarrett Jack, as ESPN.com reported on Monday. But Cleveland’s reluctance to take back Terry in a Jack deal scuttled those talks. The Nets then turned their attention to Thornton, who is having a down season in Sacramento. The Nets are hoping that Thornton can provide them with some added offensive punch off the bench. The Akron Beacon Journal had reported earlier Wednesday that the Thornton trade was nearing completion. Thornton averages 8.3 points and 38.1 percent shooting this season. In 2010-11, Thornton averaged 21.3 points and followed that up by averaging 18.7 points in 2011-12. In his first season with the Nets since coming over in the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade last summer, Terry has averaged 4.5 points in 35 games. The 6-foot-8 Evans, known for his rebounding, has appeared in just 30 games this season and is averaging 2.7 points and 5.0 rebounds. He averaged 11.1 rebounds last season in 80 games. The Nets also had talks with the Lakers about forward Jordan Hill for a $5.25 million disabled player exception the Nets have for losing Brook Lopez for the season. However, the Nets — already possessing a payroll that will cost roughly $190 million this season — would take on an additional luxury tax hit of more than $15 million if they used it to absorb Hill’s salary.
The Brooklyn Nets are making this trade to essentially add some scoring punch to their bench, and it makes some sense, if Marcus Thornton can return to form he makes the Nets bench better. Thornton does play shooting guard, the same position as the Nets best scorer Joe Johnson, but Johnson’s size and ability to play the three will give the Nets some lineup flexibility. I do think that Marcus Thornton and Alan Anderson are redundant, and following the acquisition of Thornton, you can expect Anderson’s minutes to decrease dramatically. The Nets are giving up two relatively useless players in the deal, although I have always been fascinated with Reggie Evans’ rebounding ability, Jason Terry is totally washed up. Apparently the Jordan Hill deal had not yet been finalized, and the Lakers are still having discussions with a few other teams, but a deal seems imminent. We all know that Nets owned Mikhail Prokhorov does not care about having to pay the luxury tax, and the addition of Thornton and a high energy big man like Jordan Hill clearly make the Nets a better team, and increase their odds of making a post season run.
The trade makes sense for the Kings too, as Thornton no longer fit into the rotation, as rookie Ben McLemore is ready to take over minutes at shooting guard.
NOTE: According to multiple sources, the Kings are not done trading, and could look to move other redundant players as tomorrow’s deadline approaches.
NOTE: If the Jordan Hill deal goes through, the Nets will take a $17 million luxury tax hit, and will become the NBA’s first $200 million dollar team. Seems like a high price to pay for a high energy backup big man like Jordan Hill.