Sacramento Kings: Marcus Thornton, the Future Superstar Shooting Guard

Mike B.Correspondent IDecember 27, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 21: Marcus Thornton #23 of the Sacramento Kings moves against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 21, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Kings 132-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Back in November 1991, the Sacramento Kings basically robbed the Golden State Warriors in a trade.

In the deal, the Kings picked up 24-point per game scorer Mitch Richmond in exchange for Billy Owens, the Kings' lottery pick who refused to play for the team.

Expected by some to become the "Next Magic" Johnson, Owens turned out to be a bust, while Richmond would emerge as a six-time NBA All-star in Sacramento.    

Last February, the Kings traded for another shooting, Marcus Thornton, who could very well blossom into a perennial All-Star like Richmond. 

The Kings sent Carl Landry to the New Orleans Hornets in order to acquire Thornton. Okay, Landry may be a better player than Owens ever was, but in a few years, people might feel the Hornets were robbed in the deal sort of like the Warriors were two decades ago.   

Thornton is a simply a scoring machine and has the potential to one day battle superstars like Kevin Durant and LeBron James for scoring titles. He can create his own shot, shoot it from long distance and is blessed with an explosive first step. 

The 6'4" LSU product came up huge in Monday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers, dropping 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. He was also 9 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 7 from three-point land.  

Last season was quite an interesting one for Thornton. In 46 games with the Hornets, he averaged just 7.8 points per game in 16.2 minutes. And then following the trade to Sac-Town, he averaged a whopping 21.3 ppg in an increased 38.1 mpg during his 27 games with the Kings. Also, as a King, Thonton put up a career-high 42 points versus Golden State in March.

With Thornton's stellar production in Sacramento, the Kings made the the right choice by re-signing him this past offseason and not allowing him to take his talents elsewhere.

A four-year deal worth $31 million is a bargain for a future superstar.