Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Al Thornton bought out by Wizards
By Marc Stein
Al Thornton has reached a buyout agreement with the Washington Wizards and is headed to the Golden State Warriors as long as he clears waivers later this week, according to sources briefed on Thornton's plans.
Thornton secured his freedom Tuesday by negotiating a contract settlement with Washington, becoming the latest player to hit the open market via a flurry of buyouts before Tuesday's 11:59 P.M. deadline.
Players waived after that deadline are not eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.
Team President Ernie Grunfeld announced the move Tuesday, saying the recent additions of Rashard Lewis and Maurice Evans combined with Josh Howard's return from injury had created a logjam at small forward that made Thornton expendable.
Thornton was acquired a year ago from the Los Angeles Clippers. He started 23 games this season and was averaging 8.0 points, but he had been used sparingly over the past month, in part because of a dislocated right middle finger.
Thornton is the second player in two days to reach a buyout deal with the Wizards. Mike Bibby bought out his contract on Monday and is rumored to be headed to the Miami Heat.
Marc Stein covers the NBA for ESPN.com.