When the Oklahoma City Thunder sent James Harden to the Houston Rockets this offseason the NBA wondered what the returning Western Conference champions would have in the tank in 2012-13. Although Kevin Martin‘s point production has decreased in his first season with the club he still provides much needed intangibles for one of the NBA’s best teams.
At 30-years-old Martin obviously doesn’t have the explosiveness that he once had, but his experience and knowledge about the NBA game goes under-the-radar far too often. Martin is leading the league in Free Throw percentage with a .904% from the charity stripe in 2013 which will be key come the postseason.
With a 36-12 record the Thunder are sitting pretty, but they will need the veteran leadership from Martin and others to come to the forefront come playoff time.
In my mind the Harden deal made perfect sense for the Thunder at the time and now I still feel content with the move. Although Harden is averaging career-highs in his first season with the Rockets it would’ve been a matter of time before he left Oklahoma City anyway.
Make no mistake this is Kevin Durant‘s team and while I have my doubt he can put up with Russell Westbrook for the rest of his career I do feel Durant is a future Hall of Famer and benefits from Harden being elsewhere.
Martin is playing a smudge under 30 minutes per game in 2013 and is averaging over 15 points so don’t think that Martin is washed up or not giving the Thunder anything. He is doing everything he needs to do from the bench.