Rockets Sign Free Agent Marcus Thornton
While the free agent period has been relatively quiet for the Houston Rockets they finally add a player who wasn’t on the team last year by signing Marcus Thornton. During the first week of free agency Houston did manage to retain two key cogs in Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer. The addition of Marcus Thornton was announced today as he signed a one year veterans minimum deal which will allow the Rockets to keep their full mid level exception.
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While Thornton won’t add much defensively and isn’t known to be a high end assist man he will offer an asset the Rockets offense is built around … three point shooting. Not only can Thornton get up the 3, but he can do so in transition or as a spot up three point specialist.
Thornton’s signing calls into question whether Houston will resign Jason Terry who remains available as a free agent. The other unsigned free agent from last year’s team is Josh Smith who has reportedly been getting interest from the Sacramento Kings who’ve coincidentally showed interest in Brewer and Beverley prior to them signing and returning to the Rockets. The other outstanding free agent is that of young athletic K.J. McDaniels who many Clutch City fans are desperate for General Manager Daryl Morey to resign given his projected ceiling.
For his part Thornton will offer some sharp shooting off the bench and should fit well with Brewer. The much traveled Thornton arrives in Houston following a season which featured him spending time on the Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics. This will be the sixth team Thornton has played in his 6 seasons.
Thornton’s 2014-15 season saw his numbers dip especially in his short time in Phoenix where he played just 9 games and registered 3.6 points. Prior to his trade to the Suns he played 39 games in Boston averaging 8.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and just under one assist per game. Notably he shot 41.9% from behind the arc in bean town but this total dipped to 10.5% in the desert.
He posted his career best totals while with the Sacramento Kings which consequently was also his longest tenure with one team. In his best season in Sacramento he averaged 21.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.7 steals shooting 36.1% from behind the arc in 38 minutes per game.
Known by the nick name Lil’ Buckets, his game will be suited to the Rockets fast pace and with their offensive strategy of shooting copious three point shots his 36.2% career average is a welcome addition.
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