Rumor: Nets discussing Thornton-Jack trade with Cavaliers

LeBron James, Marcus Thornton
Marcus Thornton (AP)
Marcus Thornton (AP)

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Nets and Cavaliers have initiated trade talks that would see Marcus Thornton swapped for Jarrett Jack.

Back in February, reports surfaced that the Nets and Cavaliers had mutual interest in swapping Jack and Jason Terry. Instead, the Nets dealt Terry and Reggie Evans to Sacramento for Marcus Thornton.

Stein writes that that Nets have become increasingly fearful of guard Shaun Livingston leaving Brooklyn for more money than they can offer. Marcus Thornton will be paid 8 million on the final year of his contract and averaged 12 points and 2.8 rebounds for the Nets over 26 games this season.

Additionally, Jarrett Jack is signed through 2016-17 at a little over 6 million but has a team option on the final year. Jack averaged 9.5 points and 4.1 assists over 28 minutes per game for Cleveland in 2013-14 in a backup role behind Kyrie Irving.

Interestingly enough, this may indicate the franchise’s aims at adding two of the NBA’s greatest stars in the near future. If Cleveland believes that LeBron James will opt into his final year with Miami, Thornton’s expiring contract could add some necessary cap space for the Cavaliers to make a run at James next summer.

On the other end, many believe that the Nets will attempt to bring Kevin Durant to Brooklyn in 2016 when he hits unrestricted free agency. Jarrett Jack’s team option in 2016 means that the Nets could effectively wipe 6 million off the books as they chase Durant.

Jack, who finished in 3rd place for last year’s 6th Man of the Year Award, would likely slot in off the bench behind Deron Williams if Shaun Livingston decides to take another deal elsewhere.

UPDATE: Source in Nets organization has said that the Jack-Thornton trade is “not legitimate.”