By Jason Jones
Seeing Marcus Thornton at Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery party was a bit unusual. It's not often players not under contract for next season make an appearance at an event after the season.
Thornton is a restricted free agent so I had to ask him if his appearance meant he planned to be a King next season. After a brief pause Thornton answered in the affirmative.
"Yeah...Yeah man," Thornton said. "These fans are great. I fit in so well with this team it would be great to play here but the summer is the summer."
The summer, of course, is when business is handled in the NBA. What kind of contract Thornton might be offered will have a lot to do with how the new collective bargaining agreement turns out.
Thornton admitted attending the party seemed out of the norm, but with his mother in town Thornton decided to show up where he posed for pictures with fans and made the media rounds.
"When I got the call at first I was like, no, but why not?" Thornton said. "I felt like since I've been here these fans have been so loyal so I owed them to be here."
*As for the lottery result, the seventh pick isn't what the Kings wanted (I know, obviously). It likely puts the Kings out of reach for the top-2 point guards (Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight) with Kemba Walker a possibility.
I'm of the belief the Kings don't have to take a point guard at seven. If they can find a player who can solidify the small forward spot for the future, that wouldn't be a bad direction.
I watched the Kings get beaten on the perimeter much of the season. The inability to defend the perimeter was a big reason the Kings struggled.
There's also this: Assuming the Kings draft a point guard, how much would he play unless the Kings dealt Beno Udrih? Another ballhandler is needed, but if it means taking one just to do it, that wouldn't be the right move.
I'll be in Chicago this week for the NBA Draft Combine. I don't expect Geoff Petrie to tell me what the plan is for the draft. But I'll see what I can find out about players that might be options at No. 7.