FEBRUARY 22: The Cavs have officially announced their 10-day deal with Thornton. However, it sounds like Thornton’s role with his G League squad won’t change much, as the Cavs’ announcement indicates he’ll be assigned to the Canton Charge before Friday’s game.
Meanwhile, Damion Lee of the Santa Cruz Warriors will replace Thornton on USA Basketball’s roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
FEBRUARY 21: The Cavaliers will fill one of their open roster spots by signing G League guard Marcus Thornton to a 10-day contract, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Cleveland had been carrying a 13-man roster since making three deals at the February 8 trade deadline. NBA rules require teams to have at least 14 players, but they are permitted to go below that number as long as they get back to 14 within two weeks.
Thornton was a second-round pick by the Celtics in 2015 and has played in Australia, Italy and the G League. The Celtics renounced their rights to Thornton over the summer and he signed with the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s G League affiliate, in November. The 25-year-old averaged 18.8 points in 37 games with Canton.
Thornton will receive $46,080 for the 10 days, but his salary will count $83,129 toward the luxury tax, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The signing will cost the Cavs about $353K in luxury taxes, raising their overall bill to $50.3MM.
Once Thornton’s contract expires, Cleveland can sign him to another 10-day deal, keep him for the rest of the season or release him and make another move to stay at the 14-player limit.
Thornton’s signing also affects Team USA in its quest to qualify for the FIBA World Cup, notes Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Coach Jeff Van Gundy will have to find a replacement for Thornton before upcoming games on Friday and Monday.