Kevin Martin of the Oklahoma City Thunder is a free agent after this summer. He turns 30 years old on February 1st. Martin is earning over $12 million this season. This may be his last chance to get a lucrative deal on the free agent market. Teams know what he can do. Martin is an efficient shooter and can score in bunches. For some teams, that is a very pressing need.
But Martin said that he may not even consider looking out at the free agent market if the Thunder offer a fair deal. Here’s Marc Spears from Yahoo! Sports with the story:
“This summer, hopefully everything works out here,” Martin told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. “I haven’t said that too often. But I will put it out there; hopefully I have found a home in the NBA. I love playing with this group of guys. The organization is great to me. The community has been great to me. It’s the happiest I have been during my NBA career.”
Of course, there is that concern if Oklahoma City can afford him. Let’s put it this way: they offered James Harden a four-year, $54 million deal before the Thunder traded him for Martin. That averages to $13.5 million per season. I’m not sure which teams would offer Martin a deal that’s about $12 million per year but OKC can certainly keep him at a deal that’s worth $8-10 million per year. They should be fine.
Martin was afraid that he wasn’t going to fit in with the Thunder but he’s done just fine with this squad. Martin received phone calls from Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins when he arrived and it’s been easy sailing since. While he doesn’t have the playmaking skills like Harden does, he’s easily received the scoring punch needed off the bench for the Thunder.
Martin is also a better shooter; he’s shot .439 from behind the arc and shot .912 from the free throw line. Overall, Martin is averaging 15.0 points per game in 30 minutes off the bench. If Jamal Crawford and J.R. Smith weren’t having fantastic seasons off the pine, Martin could easily win the Sixth Man of the Year honors this season.
More importantly, Martin is finally on a winning team after not experiencing much of that with his previous squads. He’s had impressive statistical seasons with Sacramento and Houston but has only made the playoffs once in his career. Oklahoma City is 33-10 and has the best record in the league at the moment.
If Martin isn’t re-signed after the season, the Thunder will turn to Jeremy Lamb, who is a much cheaper option as he is in his rookie contract. But as of now, Kevin Martin says that this is his spot and that he hopes to stay as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the foreseeable future.