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Nets go deeper into luxury tax with Marcus Thornton trade

The Nets season has been a complete disaster, even with the team's recent run of good play, because of the large tax bill that comes attached to their roster.

If you broke down the Nets salary this year per win, it would come out to $4.2 million per win so far. That should go down as the Nets pick up a few more wins and inch closer to the cluttered Eastern Conference Playoff race. The Nets are seventh in the East and are just four games behind the third seed in the East.

So what should the Nets do? Take on a little more money maybe?

Brooklyn and Sacramento opened up action on Trade Deadline Eve with a deal sending some relative names in each direction. Brooklyn acquired Marcus Thornton for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. In math terms, that is $16.6 million over two years coming in and $14.9 million over two years going out. Yes, the Nets added a little bit less than $2 million to their bloated salary with this deal.

For those keeping score at home, that means the Nets are more than $30 million over the tax line. And that means they will be paying a tax bill of approximately $93 million. Only the Nets have a team salary north of that number. Mikhail Prokhorov is paying for two whole NBA basketball teams pretty much.

That is just obscene.

According to Bill Simmons of Grantland and his self-congratulatory rankings, the Nets now own three of the 11 worst contracts in the NBA. Here is what he wrote on Grantland on Thornton (the 11th worst contract in the NBA by his estimation):

The Kings paid him to be a Heat Check Guy since he doesn’t pass or play defense. Well, he’s literally a Heat Check Guy — you keep checking to see if the heat is on. Take away his 42-point explosion against Indiana and he’s averaging less than 16 points per 48 minutes this season. FREEZER CHECK! How do we know his contract is awful? Reportedly, the Nets are trying to trade for Thornton right now. That’s like the Awful Contract Stamp of Approval. Gee, I wonder who signed Thornton to that dumb deal.

So does Thornton at least help the Nets climb up in the Playoffs?

Well, Jason Terry was struggling mightily averaging 4.5 points per game on 36.5 percent shooting. He is a shell of his former self for sure and the Kings seem likely to buy him out and let him fish for a contender. Terry though has fallen off on both ends of the floor and the Nets have inserted Shaun Livingston as the team's backup point guard behind Deron Williams.

Thornton, on the other hand, is a bit of a gunner at 8.3 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting in 26.4 minutes per game. His usage rate sits at 17.1 percent, a career low if you can believe that. Thornton has some shooting and big-game ability and could be good for a few big games with all the weapons around him in Brooklyn. Or he could be another ball-dominating wrench in a Nets offense that has never quite found its way.

Yeah, salary-wise and personality-wise, the Nets do not have enough Marcus Thorntons. But here Brooklyn is anyway with a rookie coach trying to make all the pieces fit together.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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