Friday, March 1, 2013
Martin's future with Thunder
By Tom Carpenter
The Oklahoma City Thunder made the best of a difficult situation when they traded James Harden for Kevin Martin. Harden's contract was running out and they were going to have to fork over a ton of money to keep him with the team long term, so they dealt him for Martin. Granted, Martin doesn't have Harden's all-around game, but he does provide a quality scoring option off the bench and they can still look at their salary-cap situation without cringing.
The catch now is that they are looking at a similar situation with Martin, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. HoopsWorld.com's Alex Kennedy wrote Thursday that "The Thunder wants to re-sign Martin this summer and have made assurances that they will do so, according to sources."
Of course, finances will play a large role in determining whether they can afford to keep him. Certainly the Thunder won't overpay, which means that if a team makes him a significant offer, the Thunder probably will let him walk away. Martin is a bit perplexing when it comes to assessing his NBA value. Sure, he can score (he's topped 23 ppg in three seasons), is a quality 3-point shooter (38.4 percent for his career) and an epic free-throw shooter (86.7 FT%, six seasons with at least 7.1 FTA per game), but he can't play defense and doesn't chip in dimes or rebounds.
If some team sees a lot of value in his game and offers him a big payday, the Thunder may be better off looking at other unrestricted free agents like D.J. Augustin, Matt Barnes, Tony Allen, Jerryd Bayless, Ray Allen, J.J. Redick, J.R. Smith, Nick Young or Martell Webster as a cheaper replacement.