After a 24-58 season, the New Jersey Nets will have to make some changes heading into 2012. This week, Nets are Scorching takes a closer look at some soon-to-be-available names.
2010-11 Stats: 73 G, 23 GS, 24.3 MPG, 12.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.1 BPG, 0.9 SPG, .434 FG%, .367 3P%, .788 FT%, 106 ORtg, 16.5 PER
Why Billy King Should Be Texting Him Now: Here are some numbers from Thornton's brief stay with Sacramento this past season, which totaled 27 games - 21.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 2.0 3PTM, .450 FG%, .805 FT%. Don't think that these numbers are flukes from the sophomore either. All Thornton needs is a chance. During his rookie season with the New Orleans Hornets, in 29 games after the All-Star break, he averaged 20.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.0 3PTM, .466 FG%, and .835 FT%. The kid can score and rebound and create a bit for others and play passing lanes to steal the pill and shoot well from the floor and charity stripe and I like him a lot for the Nets. He'd finally be that scorer that can create his own shot and score in bunches, as well as spot up, receive the rock from Deron Williams and snap twine on the regular from the perimeter.
Thornton turns 24 in June and if you're going to give a long-term contract to a player, you give it to someone as young as him. He's physically strong and has to be hungry to get regular big-time minutes. He's certainly earned them and if you're you're a Thornton and Nets fan, you have to hope that Thornton and Tyreke Evans don't like each other and/or the tenuous situation regarding location for the Sacramento Kings has them not matching any offers for the restricted free agent.
Don’t Risk the Fine: There's a lot of upside to Thornton and he's proven in his short time in the NBA that he can get the J-O-B-D-O-N-E like Big Daddy Kane given the burn on the deck. If there is any negative aspect to Thornton, it's his lack of height and a wingspan to make up for it for the two-guard position. He's only 6'4" and can have his man shoot over the top of him. Thornton can body up with any shooting guard in the league, but isn't athletic enough or has the ridiculous hops to overcome defending a 6'6" player.
And The Winner Is... Tamper: Get this guy. He's an offensive weapon and isn't a defensive liability at all. He's not a stopper, but he isn't a pushover either. In fact, his 108 DRtg isn't far off from Arron Afflalo's 111 DRtg and Afflalo is the one with the defensive rep. Thornton is young, can take it to the hole, get off his shot, hit from three-point land, and he'd be an excellent complement to D-Will and Brook Lopez. Again, GET THIS GUY!