Veteran NBA guard Marcus Thornton is headed overseas, according to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter links), who reports that Thornton will sign with the Beijing Ducks in China. He’ll replace Aaron Jackson, who is out for the rest of the CBA season with an injured collarbone.
Thornton had been playing for the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s G League affiliate, averaging 18.9 PPG in just 24.6 MPG in 15 contests, with a shooting line of .500/.392/.833. The eight-year NBA veteran was likely hoping that his solid G League stint would result in a call-up to an NBA club. Still, he’ll have the opportunity to return stateside before season’s end, since the CBA year ends before the NBA’s. The CBA regular season ends next week, with the playoffs beginning shortly thereafter.
Thornton, 30, has played in 483 NBA regular season games since the start of the 2009/10 season, spending time with seven NBA teams over the course of his professional career. Most recently, the LSU alum averaged 6.6 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 33 contests for the Wizards in 2016/17. Although he worked out for the Timberwolves in the offseason, he was unable to land an NBA contract.
This Marcus Thornton should not be confused with the Marcus Thornton who was selected 45th overall in the 2015 draft by the Celtics — that former William & Mary guard, who has not appeared in an NBA regular season game, is currently playing for the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate.