Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Source: Nets acquire Kings' Thornton
SALT LAKE CITY – Mikhail Prokhorov’s checkbook remains open.
The Nets finalized a deal Wednesday to acquire Kings guard Marcus Thornton for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry, according to a league source. Thornton will look give the Nets some more potential scoring punch off the bench, and by swapping two players for one, the Nets also opened up a roster spot.
Thornton, 26, is owed $8.7 million next season, and even though he’s the Kings’ second-highest paid player in 2013-14 at $8.2 million, he’s averaging a career-low 8.3 points. He began the season as a starter, but fell out of favor with the Kings’ staff and became expendable with the addition of rookie Ben McLemore.
By bringing Thornton aboard, the Nets reportedly will add roughly $729,000 in salary and that could force them to pay $2.73 million more in luxury tax payments. This for a team that’s already looking at a $190 million price tag in combined salary.
Terry, who has one year left on the three-year deal he inked in Boston in 2012, is averaging a career low 4.5 points this season with the Nets. Evans played a key role with the team last season, averaging 11.1 rebounds and starting in 56 games. But this season, he was never a consistent part of the rotation under coach Jason Kidd, averaging five rebounds in just 30 appearances.
Kevin Garnett played with Terry for parts of the past two seasons and also made it clear in the preseason that he wanted Evans to be a part of the team. So even before the news started breaking about the deal getting finalized Wednesday, Garnett didn't seem overly thrilled.
"This is a business and we all understand that," Garnett said prior to the Nets' shootaround at Energy Solutions Arena in preparation for Wednesday's game against the Jazz. "The personal and emotions, I won't speak on. But the obvious is there."
Garnett, like everyone else, is eager to see the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline come and go.
"Yeah, when you form a bond, man, it's not just sometimes," Garnett said. "It's not 50 percent. It's not half-assed. It's all on. When you give yourself, you give yourself. And to have anything disconnected from this group that has went through this duration of bonding will obviously be a letdown from a personal standpoint. We've worked hard to get to the point where we are at and I think that we obviously have more and better room to improve and we will.
"But more importantly, I think Thursday will represent a culmination of what the year is going to be, and to continue to go together and this is the group and anything that's added will be added on. But it won't be anything that's taken from."