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King on Thornton trade: Nets needed youth

2/20/2014

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King talked Thursday about his decision to trade veterans Reggie Evans and Jason Terry to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for 26-year-old spark plug scorer Marcus Thornton.

“Jason Kidd and I talked and we felt we needed to add some youth to our team, and that’s why we did the deal,” King said.

“It’s somebody for now and for the future.”

The deal also gives the Nets another open roster spot -- they now have two -- and King said they’ll look to bring in a free-agent big man. ESPN.com has reported that that big man could be Jason Collins, who came out as openly gay last April.

Kevin Garnett was disappointed that Evans and Terry were leaving, reiterating that one of the reasons he decided to waive his no-trade clause and come to Brooklyn was the opportunity to play with Evans.

“I respect what Kevin had to say and I know he’s close with both of those guys,” King said, “but it’s my job and I have to make decisions, so I didn’t reach out to any players before making the deal to get approvals.”

King hopes Thornton can practice with the team Friday in San Francisco, so he gets to know Brooklyn’s system and its players.

He didn’t have a problem getting approval from ownership on the trade. The Nets are projected to pay out $88 million in luxury-tax penalties so far.

King was asked how he feels his team stacks up against Eastern Conference powers Miami, the two-time defending champion, and Indiana, which acquired promising 25-year-old swingman Evan Turner Thursday at the deadline.

“Well, they’re the best two teams in the East right now by record, and so I’m just focused on the next 30 games we have to go, and that’s all I'm focused on,” King said. “We can’t worry about Miami and Indiana until we play them. ... If we’re fortunate enough to go against those guys in the playoffs, we’ll talk about it then. But our goal is to finish as strong as we can, try and win the Atlantic Division and then be as healthy as we can in the playoffs. We can’t worry about how we stack up on paper, because it doesn’t matter how you stack up on paper.”

King said he doesn’t think about other teams like the Heat and Pacers when he makes a move.

“I can’t be trying to project how we’re going to do down the road against those guys,” he said.