Trading Marcus Thornton, with his $8.6 million contract promised for the coming season, will not be easy for the Boston Celtics. But it got a little less difficult Wednesday.
Thornton is now eligible to be included in aggregated trades, with the arrival of the two-month anniversary of the Celtics officially acquiring him in a three-team trade. A player who was acquired using a trade exception, as Thornton was, cannot be included in a trade package with other players for two months after the initial trade becoming complete.
In Thornton’s case, the trade was official July 10, the first day the NBA’s annual moratorium period was lifted.
The Celtics still face obstacles in dealing the 27-year-old shooting guard, who averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 34.5 percent on 3-pointers last season with the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings. Still, it becomes a bit easier to convince potential trade partners to take on Thornton’s contract along with other pieces, as opposed to on its own.
The Celtics have a glut of wing players on the roster, including newly resigned Avery Bradley, incumbents Jeff Green, Gerald Wallace, Chris Johnson and Chris Babb, draft pick James Young and Evan Turner, who agreed this summer to sign with the team. They also still have Keith Bogans, who was banished from the team last season, on a $5.3-million non-guaranteed deal.
The logjam suggests moves could be coming for the Celtics, who have to pare down their roster to 15 players by the start of the regular season.
Thornton was acquired in July along with big man Tyler Zeller and a protected first-round draft pick as part of a three-team deal with the Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics used their $10.3 million trade exception to make the deal possible, giving up only a heavily protected second-round pick they are unlikely to be asked to surrender.
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