Clearly it is house keeping day for the Kings, as they have just announced that they have extended a qualifying offer to guard Marcus Thornton:
KINGS EXTEND QUALIFYING OFFER TO MARCUS THORNTON
SACRAMENTO, CA —- The Sacramento Kings today extended a qualifying offer to Marcus Thornton, making him a restricted free agent, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.
Thornton, a two-year NBA veteran, averaged 21.3 points (.450 FGs, .361 3FGs, .805 FTs), 4.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.67 steals per game through 27 outings with the Kings last season, of which he started 23. He was acquired by Sacramento along with cash considerations from New Orleans on February 23, 2011, in exchange for Carl Landry.
In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30. A restricted free agent may sign an offer sheet with any team, but is subject to a right of first refusal with the team for which the player last played.
No real surprise here, as Thornton became a valuable member of the Kings core after his trade deadline deal from New Orleans Hornets. The former second round pick out of LSU is in line for a nice pay increase from the modest $762K he made last season. The qualifying offer for Thornton comes with a salary hold for a little over a million dollars and give the Kings the right to match any offer the young scorer receives on the open market.