Wizards' Thornton looks to be latest addition
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Warriors, if everything goes according to plan, will be signing small forward Al Thornton this week.
Thornton, who had one year and $2.8 million left on his contract, was bought out by the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. He must clear waivers before the Warriors can sign him.
Thornton -- who is 27 and is 6-foot-8, 235 pounds -- can be picked up by any team until Thursday at 3 p.m. But that is unlikely considering that team would have to pay him nearly $600,000 the rest of the season.
Once Thornton clears waivers and becomes a free agent, the plan is for the Warriors to sign him for a prorated amount of the veteran's minimum -- which for Thornton comes out to about $200,000. Of course, a contender needing bench help could swoop in and offer Thornton more money and a (better) chance to make the playoffs.
But, oddly enough, Thornton wanted a buyout just so he could be free to sign with the Warriors, according to his agent Bill Duffy.
"They need someone who can score and post up," Duffy said. "And I think he likes the direction of the team."
The Los Angeles Clippers traded Thornton to the Wizards in the middle of last season, but his run with Washington figured to be up after this season. His team option for next season ($3.9 million) likely wasn't going to be picked up by the Wizards, largely because Washington has too many small forwards: Thornton, Rashard Lewis, Maurice Evans and Josh Howard.
But the Warriors see some potential in Thornton because of his size, athleticism and scoring ability. Golden State has gotten inconsistent play from its reserves and could use the bench scoring.
Thornton may join the Warriors in Boston on Friday if he signs quickly, but he probably won't play right away. If he ends up a Warrior, his debut could come Sunday in Philadelphia or Tuesday in Cleveland. Whenever he comes, it seems he will be welcomed in the Warriors locker room.
"He's tough," David Lee said. "He is athletic and physical."
Dorell Wright said, simply: "I'd want him on my team."
-- Marcus Thompson II