Thornton just completed his sixth season in the NBA since being selected in the second round of the 2009 draft out of LSU. Over his career, he has averaged 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 36.2 percent from three-point range.
Thornton finished last season with the Phoenix Suns, which acquired him in the February trade that sent guard Isaiah Thomas to the Boston Celtics. Spears reports that the Miami Heat were also interested in the 28-year-old.
Houston posted a 56-26 record and earned the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference before falling to the Golden State Warriors in five games in the conference finals.
Analysis: Between Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, Sam Dekker, and Jason Terry (should he return, as seems likely), the Rockets are heavy with perimeter players who can only score under particular conditions. Thornton is a wing of a different kind—a legitimate candidate to generate instant offense when James Harden isn’t on the floor. Houston can make use of his talents with the ball to tide over its offense in rough spots or complement the post work of Dwight Howard and Donatas Motiejunas with his perimeter shooting. Those skills typically cost teams far more than the minimum, even for players as scoring-centric as Thornton. — Rob Mahoney