3:48pm: The Rockets have officially waived Thornton, the team announced.
2:41pm: The Rockets will waive Marcus Thornton, agent Tony Dutt tells Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston (Twitter link). The news is no surprise, as Dutt and the Rockets had been set to discuss the next step for the shooting guard who hasn’t played for Houston since the trade that was to send him to Detroit was voided Monday. The seventh-year veteran signed a one-year contract for the minimum salary in the offseason, but it’s unclear if he’s giving up any of that to secure his release. He’ll be eligible to join another team for the playoffs as long as Houston formally waives him no later than Tuesday.
Thornton averaged 10.0 points in 18.8 minutes per game for the Rockets, his first double-digit scoring average since notching 12.7 points a night with the Kings in 2012/13. He posted a career-high 18.7 points per game with Sacramento in 2011/12. The 28-year-old vented frustration in December with the up-and-down minutes he was seeing in Houston, but he still averaged more minutes than the 15.0 per game he saw last season with the Suns and Celtics.
The move will open a roster spot for the Rockets. They could wind up with two open spots if buyout talks with Ty Lawson result in a waiver. However, Joe Johnson, reportedly one of Houston’s targets, instead reportedly plans to sign with the Heat.