After losing playing time to rookie DeMarcus Cousins, it was common knowledge that Carl Landry was on his way out in Sacramento. The tough, undersized forward from Purdue made a short career in the NBA by boxing out bigger guys and hitting mid-range jump shots in Sac-town and Houston, but hasn’t been producing the same way this season.
Marcus Thornton is in the same boat. The 6’3 shooting guard from LSU is averaging half the points he put up last season, having suffered from injuries, 41% shooting, and the addition of who else but Willie Green. The Hornets are tied with the Blazers and Nuggets for the 5th spot in the East, but could feasibly catch the Thunder at 4 to win home-court in round one.
Their biggest issue is their light frontcourt save for David West. Aaron Grey, Jason Smith, and David Andersen have been getting significant minutes due to the absence of Emeka Okafor and cannot be counted on regularly to produce at a playoff level.
So the swap, according to Marc Stein’s report, makes sense for both teams. New Orleans threw in Andersen as well to make the salaries match, but they get to wave goodbye to a floundering young guy on the bench and pick up a tough interior rebounder in the process. The Kings, who have no use for Landry with Cousins and Jason Thompson around, add another young guy to their rebuilding process who is, at worst, a terrific 6th man in the league. Cousins and Tyreke Evans will need all the off-the-ball scorers they can get to build the team into a contender.
Stay tuned to more deadline deals in the next 48 hours.