At a quick glance, you may be thinking, didn’t Thornton just get signed to the Rockets, not get drafted 45th by the Celtics? In this case you’d be right, technically! Another Marcus Thornton has emerged from the depths of college ball and amazingly, they both even play the same position, given their talent levels are leagues apart!
Thornton did not attend a prestigious school by any means, instead he chose the humble path provided to him by the college of William and Mary. He allowed himself to ripen over the course of 4 years there and now he feels it’s time to escalate his skill to the NBA level.
Thornton provided his team with explosive scoring and elite three point scoring capabilities to spread the floor. He compiled a stat line of 17.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 2.4 APG while shooting over 40% from three! His scoring was enough to place him first all time in William and Mary history. These numbers are extremely impressive, almost impressive enough to warrant a glance from every NBA team. Unfortunately though, like many other older prospects, he fell through the gaps due to fear of his lack of further potential. If his NBA play can even slightly resemble that of his college career, then the Celtics are in for a treat.
Graphic via nbcsports
Thornton was snubbed during his Summer League stint and restricted to only 11 minutes per game. Playing for less than a quarter is hardly enough to showcase your skills, but there may have been good reason for his benching.
Thornton shot an abysmal 28% from the field and one of his supposed strong suits failed him by only going 20% from three. Shooting figures like these are a nightmare for any team and usually result in stagnant offense due to defenders not having to be worried about that specific player. The black hole that was Thornton’s scoring efficiency definitely contributed to his benching, but on the defensive side of things he definitely held his own against the competition. He was able to intercept 0.6 SPG in his limited spans of time. If we extrapolate that data over the course of more suitable playing time, we can begin to see how much havoc Thornton can cause on opposing offences.
There was one game though when Thornton shined like a true stud. He was given almost double his average play time and he responded by scoring 21 points on 5 for 8 shooting (100% from three!) paired along with 2 steals. He showed a glimpse of his college play and had Boston fans believing in him again.
Fit On The Boston Celtics:
The Celtics have placed a cookie crumb trail as to their decision regarding the future of Thornton. It is highly speculated that he will either be sent to a D-League affiliate team or just be shipped off overseas for a few seasons. He has yet to be signed to the official roster and with time winding down, that seems more and more likely to not happen.
This could prove to be a valuable opportunity for Thornton though. From his Summer League performance we can gather two facts. He needs to work out his kinks on offence and his confidence has to be bolstered. Both of these goals can be achieved through time in Europe or in the D-League. From playing valuable minutes on teams with high level competition he can mold into a confident guard who can score in more ways than you can imagine. On the other hand, he can take this as discouragement and regress further into a shell of his former player.
It is solely up to Thornton to make this situation the best for himself. If he can dedicate his time into putting up a complete effort day in and day out, there is no doubt in my mind he can succeed.
Graphic via wavy.com