One current NBA player who has seen his value rise since entering the league in 2009 is shooting guard Marcus Thornton, who spent last season with both the New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings. Currently a restricted free agent, Thornton was dealt to the Sacramento Kings along with cash considerations in February of 2011 in exchange for forward Carl Landry.
A local product who went to high school in New Orleans, spent two years playing college basketball at LSU coming in from a community college, Thornton was drafted by the Miami Heat and dealt to the New Orleans Hornets in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft. Coming out of college, Thornton was a scoring guard, and after being selected in the second round was projected to be a possible “steal."
In his rookie year with the Hornets, he averaged 14.5 points and a career high field-goal percentage close to 45 percent. He set a franchise record for the most points scored in a quarter with 23, and became a surprise threat who opposing teams had to deal with. After having a successful NBA season as a rookie, Thornton was named to the All-Rookie Second Team.
Thornton spent the first part of the 2010-11 NBA season with New Orleans where he averaged 7.8 points per game before being sent to Sacramento, a team that was in the midst of rebuilding. He was given the opportunity to become a possible future building block on a young team struggling to find its identity.
In 27 games with the Kings, Thornton started at the shooting guard spot and averaged 21.3 points and a career-high 38.1 minutes played. With the addition of Thornton, they have a possible future lineup of Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and rookie Jimmer Fredette.
As a restricted free agent, Thornton is sure to get looks from other teams, but if he does return to Sacramento, he is sure to have a great shot of becoming the starting shooting guard playing alongside Tyreke Evans and can also share the ball-handling duties every so often.