Nets Make a Move, is There More to Come?
By Jason Schott - @JESchott19
The Nets acquired Marcus Thornton from Sacramento for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry. It is not a surprise that Evans and Terry were moved ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, as neither had a role in Head Coach Jason Kidd's rotation.
Thornton is in his fifth year, and he averaged 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 46 games wiht the Kings, 26 of which he started. He was drafted in 2009 by the Miami Heat out of LSU, and his best season was 2011-12, when he averaged 18.7 points-per-game and started 51 games for Sacramento.
Nets General Manager Billy King says of Thornton, "Marcus is a proven scorer in this league. He is a young talent who will help us in the backcourt."
It is sad to see Evans go, as he was the first fan favorite of the Nets' time in Brooklyn. He would get a nice applause any time he entered the game, no matter the situation. Nicknamed Joker, he had an energetic personality that fit Brooklyn.
Last season, Evans made his mark by being a sparkplug off the bench. He worked his way into the starting lineup by late December, taking over for Kris Humphries, in Avery Johnson's last move of consequence before he was fired. He earned it with hustle and prolific rebounding, averaging 11.1 rebounds per game and it was not uncommon for him to notch 20 on a given night.
This season, Evans had trouble finding playing time as Kidd could not justify taking up a spot on the court with a player who was very reluctant to ever shoot. It became common to see Evans rebound one under the hoop and, instead of putting it back up, immediately look to pass. This led to turnovers as he held onto it too long, so it would be taken away or he would make an errant pass that would be picked off. He only made it into 30 games, with averages of just 2.7 points and 5.0 rebounds.
When Brook Lopez went down for the season in late December, it was thought that Blatche would go into the starting lineup, and Evans would see more playing time. Instead, in what was possibly the best move Kidd made, he went with a smaller starting lineup with Kevin Garnett at center and Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson at the forwards, and Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams at guard. By early January, Andrei Kirilenko became the anchor of the second unit, and that has been a major plus as he has the best basketball I.Q. on the team. Mason Plumlee and Mirza Teletovic have also earned more minutes.
Terry never reclaimed the glory of his time in Dallas, as Nets management hoped he would when he was thrown into the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade with the Celtics.
The Jet suffered from a knee injury for most of the first two months of the season, and when he was inserted into the lineup regularly in January, he was the weak link on both ends of the floor, as he never could find the touch from behind the arc and became a liability on defense. Terry shot just 36 percent from the field, a major drop-off from his 44 percent career average. In 35 games this season, he averaged 4.5 points and 1.6 assists.
King has done a great job strengthening this roster with minor moves. It started when he traded Toko Shengalia to Chicago for Marquis Teague, who has tremendous upside and Tyshawn Taylor, who probably set the league record for the negative side of +/- in NBA history, to New Orleans for a draft pick. This is the latest, as he got rid of two little used players. The way the roster is constituted now, the only player who may not have much impact is Teague, and at 20 years old, he was brought in more for the future than this season.
And of course, when dealing with Billy King, he probably has another move up his sleeve before Thursday's 3:00 pm deadline.