Marcus Thornton Denies Israeli Deal, Talks Kings Moves
The free agent guard is weighing his basketball options.
Free agent guard Marcus Thornton is refuting a report that he declined a lucrative overseas offer.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Thornton told SLAM in a phone interview of a rumored deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
According to a tweet from Dubi Pick of Eurobasket.com, Thornton was offered a $2.2 million contract without an NBA out-clause from the Israeli basketball club. Thornton’s agent, Tony Dutt says the Louisiana native has received several offers for as much as $2.5 million net to play outside of the U.S. But they continue to closely monitor CBA negotiations between the players union and owners before settling on the guard’s next move.
“Once they start cancelling games, ruling preseason games out and ruling regular season games out, I guess that’ll be the last resort before I start really deciding what I want to do,” said Thornton, who confirmed he’s received offers in China and Spain.
After he was traded to Sacramento in a deadline deal for forward Carl Landry, Thornton posted impressive scoring numbers for the Kings. He averaged 21.3 points per game in 27 games following his arrival to California’s capital city. With the ongoing work stoppage, Thornton finds himself waiting for his big pay day.
“It’s very frustrating,” Thornton said of his pending NBA free agency. “Like you said, it’s terrible timing. But you can’t do nothing about it. You have to live and go on and hope they reach an agreement fast so we can start playing basketball again.”
Thornton wants to remain in Sacramento when the lockout ends. However, he is preparing to weigh his NBA options when the league gets back to business.
“They have my rights right now, so yeah,” Thornton said of the Kings. “But free agency is crazy, so I’m just ready for whatever right now.”
Thornton Talks Kings Pre-lockout Moves
Sacramento drafted BYU guard Jimmer Fredette with the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. And should he re-sign with the Kings, Thornton believes he, Fredette and Tyreke Evans will mesh just fine.
“I think Jimmer would take the place of Beno (Udrih),” he said. ” Last year, we were on the court at the same time, so I think it should work out. Like you said, we play with guys who put the ball in the goal and I think it should work. You can’t relax off any of us so I think it would work.”
But the move that pleases Thornton most is the acquisition of big man J.J. Hickson.
“Of any pickups that we made, I liked that one the most because J.J. Hickson – he’s a workhorse,”Thornton said. ” He never stops. I was impressed with his game every time we played (Cleveland).
“He never stops and he’s a hardnosed player,” Thornton added. “He does what he has to do to help the team and I like that.”