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Posted at 5:41 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Wizards buy out Al Thornton's contract (Updated)

By Washington Post editors

The Wizards have waived forward Al Thornton after coming to an agreement on a contract buyout.

Michael Lee is reporting on Twitter that Thornton's destination is the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State is probably a better fit for Al. A wide open, free-flowing offense, little structure. He's so unorthodox, it might work out.


From the Wizards' news release:

"The additions of Rashard Lewis and Mo Evans combined with Josh Howard's return from injury gave us a logjam at the small forward spot," said [team President Ernie] Grunfeld. "Coming to terms on a contract buyout with Al was mutually beneficial, as it allows us to clear space in the rotation and allows him the chance to pursue an opportunity with another team."
Thornton was originally acquired from the L.A. Clippers in a three-team, six-player deal on February 17, 2010. He appeared 49 games for the Wizards this season, averaging 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds.

By Washington Post editors  | March 1, 2011; 5:41 PM ET
 
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Comments

I doubt AT reads the WI, but just in case...

Al, I appreciated your hard-nosed play and your professional attitude during your time here. Best of luck going forward!

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Seems like he never got a fair shake here before Lewis ever came to town. Too bad things didn't work out, his tenacity and toughness are traits that many of our players are lacking.

Posted by: DMoney28 | March 1, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the BS coming out of the Wizards front office rivals only the BS coming out of the Obama Regime..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 1, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I never got the Thornton-hate around here. He was never going to be more than a role player, but he always brought it and gave all he had on him when he got onto the court. Can't ask for much more than that. Hope he enjoys himself on whatever playoff team picks him up for the stretch run.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 1, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, the draft sites have shuffled a little this past week, probably based on game results. Both DraftExpress and NBADraft.net have Sullinger going 4th, while ESPN has him 3rd and Hoops Hype still number one. Kyrie Irving of Duke and Perry Jones of Baylor are the other top candidates.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

AT is a slasher who didn't fit Flips jump-shooting. Good Luck to AT, he was a real pro here and always played hard.

Posted by: closg | March 1, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, the BS coming out of the Wizards front office rivals only the BS coming out of the Obama Regime..Posted by: wewintheylose1"

It's a distant second to the BS that gets generated around here, however...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I wonder if there will be more coaches than players on the bench at tomorrow's game?
Hahahaha, sorry I need some humor right now.

Posted by: rickgonz | March 1, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

AT is a slasher who didn't fit Flips jump-shooting. Good Luck to AT, he was a real pro here and always played hard.

Posted by: closg | March 1, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

@Samson151

If you are looking to the draft for improvement next year, you are not going to find it. Sullinger is limited athletically and could take a few years to develop. Perry Jones hasn't figured out how to win in the Big-12. Kyrie has been injured and was good, not great, in his short time playing at Duke. There is not one player in College this season that will make an impact in the NBA next season.

The only SF we have locked up for next year is Rashard Lewis. I guess Grunfeld wasn't going to pick up Thorton's $3.9 million dollar option next season. Evans and Howard are free agents. I liked Al and believe he can be an effective 3 off the bench somewhere in the league.

This "rebuilding" process is going to be longer and harder then people think. Ted is going to have a tough time selling seats next year. Who wants to pay a couple grand to watch a rebuilding project with Andray Blatche at the helm?

Posted by: onfirepsports | March 1, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Thornton was a player I also liked. The player haters hurled on him at times also and I'm going why? Al competed.

I was tuned in to one radio station the other day and this guest analyst was railing on the Wizards and was adamant that John Wall was the only player to keep on this Team. Everybody, he profusely proclaimed must go and wasn't worth keeping. He even claimed that Nick Young could not play defense.

The irony though is that his proclamations made his argument senseless.

Al Thornton is the type of role player you want on a good Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 1, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"There is not one player in College this season that will make an impact in the NBA next season."

Posted by: onfirepsports | March 1, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I hope you realize how stupid this sounds. Just by sheer mathematical odds you're setting yourself up for embarrassment.

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Al you played hard and competed, but the bottom line is you sucked. lets start getting some proven talent and stop getting everyones first round picks that they are giving up on. as ted said lets start putting the build in rebuild. all of these moves mean nothing, just trimming a couple of bucks off the bottom line.

Posted by: billy12 | March 1, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Guess I'll name a few guys I like and why I like them just so I'm not that guy who says, "You're an idiot!" without providing an alternative..

Sullinger: Who care's if he's 6'9 when he has the wingspan of a 7+ footer? Are you blocking shots with your forehead or your chicken wings? I like pretty much everything I've seen from him, most importantly, his intangibles - ex. competitiveness, fire, confidence, IQ. He projects as a Kevin Love (8 games this year of 13+ rebounds) but I think he has a higher ceiling because he's a MUCH better defender. I also like that he comes from a big-time program that is also playing as such this year in huge part thanks to his contributions. Winning, don't underestimate it.

Terrence Jones: I'd be so happy with either of these two guys. TJ might be my slight favorite to be honest, but don't let that admission cloud your opinion of my thought process here. Kyrie and Perry Jones might have ridiculous potential, but this guy's ceiling couldn't be more than a centimeter below. He'll D up your best perimeter guy, he scores inside and out, and he REBOUNDS (9+ a game). The best thing is that he does all these little things, but he's also not afraid to take and make big shots - he hit at least 3 or 4 that I can think of in the Vandy game @ Vandy where Vandy needed 32 from John Jenkins to escape for example. Most importantly, his athleticism, energy, and excitement (both his own and the excitement he elicits from the fans, don't get the two confused) fit with the direction the franchise would like to head. Oh yeah, and I'm pretty sure Wall wouldn't mind another Coach Cal beast to run with for the next 10 years.

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to AT, and congrats on getting out of here.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | March 1, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Bibby pays to get away from the Wizzies.
Thorton pays to leave.
We might be seeing the start of a trend.
Maybe we could pass the hat to get Andray a down payment on a buyout.

Posted by: VBFan | March 1, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"Samson151 If you are looking to the draft for improvement next year, you are not going to find it. Sullinger is limited athletically and could take a few years to develop. Perry Jones hasn't figured out how to win in the Big-12. Kyrie has been injured and was good, not great, in his short time playing at Duke. There is not one player in College this season that will make an impact in the NBA next season."

My guess is there are several. What's missing is the one dominant player -- the Griffin or Wall that you could measure the rest against. But I see four or five who could be much better than expected -- or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"Sullinger: Who care's if he's 6'9 when he has the wingspan of a 7+ footer?"

It'll be interesting to see how long he turns out to be. On TV he doesn't look like a DeJuan Blair or Elton Brand, but the small screen distorts.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Thing I like about Sullinger is that low PF rate. That's brought down many a talented big man -- picking up early fouls.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

According to ESPN Insider Sullinger has a 7'2" wingspan. This compares to last year's top 5 big man prospects as such: Ed Davis 7'0", Greg Monroe 7'2", Derrick Favors 7'4", Ekpe Udoh 7'5", and Cousins 7'6"

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I never quite got why Flip was so reluctant to play Al Thornton. It appeared he was the most ready to contribute early in the season but got benched (Bobcats game comes to mind) becuase of Flip's man crush on the 3-guard lineup.

So in case you are all keeping score. The Wizards now have Josh Howard for trading Butler, Haywood and Stevenson. As well as nothing for trading the 5th pick for Foye and Miller.

Posted by: elfreako | March 1, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I tried not to be a Thornton hater because I didn't think he'd stick and he does hustle, but his game is ugly. He's like Artest strong, awkward, and erratic, without the playmaking ability. He seems like a good guy though, so I wish him luck.

Posted by: djnnnou | March 1, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I think there are going to be more than a couple of great pros that come out of this draft, just maybe not any studs. This does feel like the kind of draft where maybe it will be guys who don't get picked high who do the best.

That being said, I'd take Sullinger unless he has T-Rex arms. He's a good kid, tough, a competitor, works hard, big body, scores, boards and is skilled. He strikes me as the kind of kid who'll figure out how to compete in the NBA regardless of any physical limitations he has. I'll take that. I want guys on the Wizards who want to compete.

With their two firsts, they should look to pick the best players / competitors almost regardless of position. That being said, they should try to pick up at least one big body. We have a lot of different types of big men right now, just not a lot of definitive answers. It seems like there are a lot of PF types who will be available where Atlanta's pick will fall. Marcus and Markieff Morris are names that keeps popping up for me.

Posted by: ts35 | March 1, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"According to ESPN Insider Sullinger has a 7'2" wingspan. This compares to last year's top 5 big man prospects as such: Ed Davis 7'0", Greg Monroe 7'2", Derrick Favors 7'4", Ekpe Udoh 7'5", and Cousins 7'6". Posted by: dfresh58"

The guys he'll be compared to aren't the springy types like Davis and Favors, or higher post players like Monroe, but the blocky inside types like Brand and Blair. Elton's wingspan was 7'5.5" and standing reach 9'2" when he came into the league. Blair measured at 7'2" and 8'10.5". So Sullinger is in that ballpark but has no clear advantage.

Be interesting when they finally measure the guy before the draft. Numbers have tended to change.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"Marcus and Markieff Morris are names that keeps popping up for me.Posted by: ts35"

Marcus is quite a bit better, I believe. And Trey Thomas out of Georgia is another candidate.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Who did the Wizards get again for Butler, Heyward, Jamison and Stephenson? Any1?

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | March 1, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Who did the Wizards get again for Butler, Heyward, Jamison and Stephenson? Any1?Posted by: skins_fan_22"

They didn't get much -- basically Josh Howard and a draft choice. But that's because they were in the position of dumping players -- although for different reasons than came later. Cuban said he was very surprised they tossed in the other guys in what was essentially the Caron Butler trade.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 1, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"Wow, the BS coming out of the Wizards front office rivals only the BS coming out of the Obama Regime..Posted by: wewintheylose1"

It's a distant second to the BS that gets generated around here, however...

I AGREE. Take your politics somewhere else.
Al Thornton was a class act. Not sure what the Bullets excuse me, the Wizards strategy is these days. Leonsis says they have a plan and that they are working their plan, but I have to tell you last night pretty pitiful, very pitiful. This looks no different than the Wizards of the last 3-4 years. woeful.....I can't think of a thing that T.Leonsis has improved on the team...Nobody on this team save Nick Young is playing any better as a result of the coaching--he stopped smiling as mandated by Flip Saunders. This typically Bullets, excuse me, Wizards--no player development. The fact that John Wall as talented as he is, but woefully inexperienced as a pro, was named the captain is purely foolish...you aren't a leader unless someone is following. I can't watch another Wizards game this year. And won't until they make some very significant changes. I see no chemistry and no evidence of improvement every player and coach is marginal... out of words, what's the use of complaining. One said says that the owner is watching and studying before he makes his move. What will that be?

Posted by: zbopjazz | March 1, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Anybody watching Terrence Jones on ESPN against Vandy right now? 10pts, 6rb, 1ast in the first half. Looks awesome so far this evening.

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

So in case you are all keeping score. The Wizards now have Josh Howard for trading Butler, Haywood and Stevenson. As well as nothing for trading the 5th pick for Foye and Miller.

Posted by: elfreako | March 1, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to include Yi, we trading Q Ross from him who we got from Dallas. Of course we turned Gooden into Thornton but it didn't work out.

Jamision was turned into Booker.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | March 1, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Hah, of course he's having a terrible 2nd half thus far now that I said that.

Festus Ezlili is a player.

Posted by: dfresh58 | March 1, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

How about just forfeiting the rest of the season.....

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | March 1, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Classic EG. The Whiz and their revolving door shud be demoted to CBA.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062504745.html

LES BOULEZ PROPHET III

Posted by: prescrunk | March 1, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

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