Losing their shooting guard will certainly hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder’s chance of becoming a contender in next year’s NBA basketball season. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure however, and that has certainly become the case here. The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed Kevin Martin, and instantly look to be a contender next year.
Despite a desire to resign their shooting guard, the Thunder were unable to give Martin a serious offer due to the fact that the team does not want to go over the salary cap and face a luxury tax.
The contract that Kevin Martin signed to become a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves could be worth as much as $30 by the time the contract plays out four years from now. Believe it or not, that is actually a significant pay cut for Martin, who took home $11 million while with the Thunder last season.
Once it became clear to Martin that he would not be resigning with Oklahoma City, his decision to sign with the Timberwolves became clear. In an interview with USA Today shortly after verbally agreeing to the deal (officially he can’t be signed until July 10 due to the free agency moratorium) Martin explained that:
“Minny was my first option outside OKC, so I’ve got to take it. Especially being (with coach) Adelman, and their starting lineup just needed a two-guard, so I feel like it’s a perfect fit. I’m not one to play around. I know where my heart is.”
Coach Rick Adelman and Kevin Martin will once again be reunited. Adelman was the coach for the Sacremento Kings in 2004 when they selected Martin out of Western Carolina. He also coached Martin while the two were with Houston from 2010 to 2012.
Last season, Kevin Martin averaged 14 points per game for the Thunder, while adding 1.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. His career average is 17.8 points per game over his 8 year career. He played in all but give games last year, marking the second highest total of his career.
By signing Kevin Martin, the Minnesota Timberwolves are beginning to take on the look of a contender heading into next year’s NBA season. Only time will tell if this was indeed the missing piece on their roster.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express