King hoping for youthful spark from Thornton

King hoping for youthful spark from Thornton

Ty Lawson, Marcus Thornton, J.J. Hickson
Marcus Thornton (AP)
The Brooklyn Nets have one of the oldest teams in the league, with five rotation players 30 or older and a sixth (Deron Williams) hitting 30 this summer.

That was a major factor in their latest deal, which sent 36-year-old Jason Terry and and 33-year-old Reggie Evans packing to Sacramento for 26-year-old Kings guard Marcus Thornton.

King spoke with Nets head coach Jason Kidd before making the deal, and the two came to the same conclusion. “Jason and I talked and felt we needed to add some youth to our team,” King revealed. “That’s why we made the deal.”

Thornton adds to one of Brooklyn’s strengths (outside shooting) and gives them an injection of youth. Outside of rookie Mason Plumlee, he’s now the team’s youngest rotation player.

King also promoted Thornton’s “ability to score,” noting that Thornton dropped 42 points on the Indiana Pacers earlier this season. No Nets player has scored more than 37 this year. Watch:

Thornton has a wide frame and is surprisingly quick for his size, but is suffering through the worst season of his career. Through 46 games (26 starts) he’s put up career-lows in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, points per game, free throw attempts per game, assists per game, and PER.

But there’s ample evidence from the past four years that suggests Thornton can produce at a much higher level than he has this season. From his rookie season through 2012-13, Thornton averaged 14.3 points in 26.6 minutes per game, shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from three-point range.

“He’s somebody that can come off the bench and give us a spark,” King said.