In what is a massive coup for the Sydney Kings, Celtics rookie Marcus Thornton has signed a one-year deal to play for the franchise.
The 6' 3" point guard played 4 years at William & Mary College in Virginia, and holds the title of all-time leading scorer. In his final season at William & Mary, Thornton averaged 20 points on 45.3% shooting, 3 assists and 2.7 rebounds.
The Celtics will retain Thornton's NBA rights and hope to see him develop his game in Australia. Having a Boston Celtic in the NBL is more proof that the league is gaining the respect of overseas competitions. The success of James Ennis and now Scottie Wilbekin being able to gain NBA contracts after stints in Australia has put the NBL on the map.
Thornton suited up for the Celtics in the NBA Summer League and whilst only averaging 5.1 points on 27.6% shooting, his potential was on show against the Miami Heat when he scored 21 points in a blow-out win.
The Sydney Kings had already had a very successful off-season being able to re-sign Josh Childress, and now with the addition of Thornton, the rest of the league has been put on notice.
Thornton's father, Wayne, talking to The Boston Globe, believes his son will be playing predominantly at the point guard position when he arrives in Australia to best prepare him for an NBA career. He added that Marcus is "pretty excited about it [playing in Australia]".
Thornton is an attacking guard who loves to drive to the hoop and finishes well at the rim. He also shoots a lot from behind the arc but needs to improve that facet of his game. He shot almost 8 three's a game for William & Mary last season, but only connected on 38% of them. Having said that, Thornton can certainly knock down a game-winner.
He isn't afraid to take contested three's, which isn't always a great characteristic to have when you shoot only 38% from three-point land, but that is why he is on his way to Australia; to improve, mature and gain some professional basketball experience.
Take a look at the mixtape below to get to know a little bit more about the newest NBL import.
If this news doesn't get you excited about the upcoming 2015/16 NBL season, nothing will!