The Heat have interest in signing Marcus Thornton, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports (Twitter link). No signing is imminent and Thornton is in no rush to find his next team as he will likely have several options, plus he will also need to clear waivers prior to any deal, Jackson adds. Miami is already reportedly set to ink swingman Joe Johnson when he clears waivers on Saturday. The Rockets waived the 28-year-old Thornton earlier today.
There are luxury tax considerations to adding Thornton, though its unclear if that will be an issue for the Heat now that the decision has apparently been made to ink Johnson. Miami was reportedly reluctant to cross the luxury tax threshold and would have needed to wait until March 6th to sign any players if it wished to avoid putting itself in line to pay repeat-offender tax penalties. Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel noted earlier that the team could seek to waive a player prior to signing Johnson to avoid the tax, but that scenario would be dependent on the team either getting a player to agree to a buyout or another team making a waiver claim on whomever was released. Both instances are far-fetched, which most likely means the team will dip into the tax, though that is merely my speculation.
Playing time will likely be the determining factor for where Thornton decides to head next, as the player expressed frustration in December about the inconsistency of his usage, and his minutes have continued to fluctuate. Thornton hasn’t played since the Rockets put him into the failed trade for Donatas Motiejunas. The shooting guard appeared in 47 contests for Houston prior to his release and averaged 10.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 18.8 minutes per night. His slash line on the year is .400/.338/.879.