While we all tend to focus on the Caron Butlers and Amar’e Stoudemire trade talk, most of the actual talking involves players far less exciting or impactful on a team.
Like Al Thornton of the Clippers. You can get him in a package with Marcus Camby or Sebastian Telfair. Thornton has fallen out of favor with Clippers coaches (old and new) as well as the fans, although the real reason they want to move him is to have the money to go after a max free agent this summer. As if one would come to the Clippers, but that’s another issue.
Thornton has some skills. He can finish at the rim well, but he loves the midrange jumper, which he shoots at a pretty mediocre 35% (and has gotten worse at it this year). Still, he is scoring 10 points a game and has a spot as an NBA bench player, but are you really going to trade for him? Only if you want Camby but need him to make the numbers work.
Thornton is a restricted free agent next year, so it shouldn’t be expensive to keep him around. If you want.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.