There’s quite a lot of interest in Kevin Martin, coming off a good season as a sixth man for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are trying to re-sign him, but face fierce competition from the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons.
Martin averaged 14 points per game last season, bringing in similar firepower to what James Harden gave them in the past, although that didn’t work in the playoffs without Russell Westbrook, while Martin couldn’t provide a substantial lift in his game or become a point guard for a while as the Thunder were knocked out in the conference semifinal.
Martin was third in the NBA when it came to points-per-minute and effective field goal percentage last season, trailing only LeBron James and Kevin Durant, although those numbers would have dropped has he played more than 27 minutes a night, or shot more than 10.1 field goals per game.
Coming off a deal that paid him $12.4 million last season, Martin isn’t likely to get anything similar from all those chasing him, but there’s no doubt that his scoring abilities are highly valued, averaging over 20 points per game for five consecutive seasons, falling to 19.2 per game in the shortened 2011-2012, also suffering from an injury that year.
The Thunder won’t bet the house on Martin and overpay him, even if it means that eventually, all they got for James Harden was Jeremy Lamb. There are teams who need scoring a lot more badly than they do, even if not having a third option off the bench is going to cramp their style and call for some changes for the NBA finalists from 2012.
As for the Bucks – they could use anybody at the moment, knowing Ellis and Jennings are leaving. The same goes for the Timberwolves, having no outside shooting presence whatsoever, and have too many point guards but not enough scorers. The Pistons are also looking for a way to upgrade their talents stock, especially with someone who can hit 42.6% of his three pointers, like he did last season, and the Mavs are also desperate to add some scoring next to Dirk Nowitzki and O.J. Mayo, although those two slightly overlap.