The Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets have agreed on a deal that sends guard Marcus Thornton to the Nets for guard Jason Terry and forward Reggie Evans. No picks and no cash were involved — just a two-for-one swap. The idea behind this deal is a bit odd, but particularly for the Nets; however, neither team should consider itself the “winner” of this deal.
To be the winner of a deal, a team either has to get considerably better or shed some salary — neither team did that in this case. It does, however, give the Kings a bit of a chance to shed salary easier in the future. By trading Thornton’s approximate $16 million owed to him over the next two years to the Nets, the Kings receive Terry, who is owed approximately $11 million for the next two years and Reggie Evans, who is owed about $3 million for the next two seasons. Basically, trading Terry and Evans individually will be easier for the Kings than it was to trade Thornton because there is less money involved.
For the Nets, they clearly think Thornton is a better option than Terry as they continue on their hunt for a postseason run. Being better than Terry won’t be tough, but Thornton is having the worst season of his career, averaging just 8.3 points per game on 38 percent shooting. Terry is averaging just 4.5 points per game.
The Nets are very willing to spend money to win basketball games. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is already about $100 million into the luxury tax, and when combined with their $100 million payroll, Prokhorov will be paying approximately $200 million on his team this year.
The Nets might not be one of the top two or three teams in the Eastern Conference, but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of trying or willingness to spend money. They have done plenty of trying and plenty of spending since Prokhorov took over as the owner of the franchise. As far as this trade goes, however, it’s clear that nobody won. It’s simply swapping two bad contracts for one bad contract.