The Kings and Nets have announced the first trade of the 2014 deadline season, a deal to send Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. David Aldridge of TNT first reported the agreement, via Twitter. The deal came together over the last 24 hours or so, with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports the first to report that negotiations had become serious. No picks or cash are involved in the transaction, according to Aldridge, though Wojnarowski reported that the teams were discussing making a conditional pick that would go to the Nets a part of the trade. Both teams had room beneath the 15-man roster limit, so no one will have to be released before the trade can become official.
The Nets take on less than $1MM in extra salary as a part of the trade, but that’s compounded because they’re deep into tax territory. The Nets are also willing to take back Jordan Hill from the Lakers, and that would mean the Nets would be in line for a luxury tax payment of about $105MM, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link), and that’s money that would be distributed to non-taxpayers at season’s end. Together with Brooklyn’s roughly $100MM payroll, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov appears willing to spend more than $200MM on this year’s team.
Both teams were also in talks with the Cavs about Jarrett Jack, but it appears they instead decided to make a trade of their own. All three players are on guaranteed deals that run through 2014/15. Thornton, the highest-paid player in the deal, earns $8MM this year and is set to receive close to $8.6MM next season. Terry makes about $5.6MM this season and $5.85MM in 2014/15. Evans will get roughly $1.7MM this year and $1.8MM next season.
The Kings have shown eagerness this season to trade Thornton, their leading scorer from 2011/12. He was involved in multiple reported proposals, including ones to the Cavs and Nuggets. He’s averaging just 8.3 points in 24.4 minutes per game this season, but that includes a 42-point outburst against the Pacers on January 24th.
“Marcus is a proven scorer in this league,” Nets GM Billy King said of the 26-year-old Thornton, in the team’s release. “He is a young talent who will help us in the backcourt.”
Terry, 36, has slumped after signing a three-year contract in 2012 with the Celtics, who traded him to the Nets in the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett blockbuster this past summer. He’s averaging 4.5 PPG and 16.3 MPG this season, both career lows. Evans, long one of the best per-minute rebounders in the league, is excelling in that category again this season, grabbing 13.4 boards every 36 minutes. He’s nonetheless seen a more than 50% cut in playing time this year for Brooklyn, thanks in part to the presence of Garnett.
“Adding Jason and Reggie provides our roster with toughness and veteran leadership that will help this team continue to grow,” Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said, in Sacramento’s press release. “They bring a wealth of NBA experience to Sacramento that will undoubtedly make a positive impact on our younger players. We also thank Marcus for his contributions and wish him great success going forward.”
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