Oklahoma City Thunder shooting guard Kevin Martin will have plenty of teams interested in him this summer during the 2013 NBA free agency. With that being said, should the 30-year-old take a pay cut to re-sign with the Thunder in the offseason?
Martin was brought in to replace 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden after he was dealt to the Houston Rockets in a trade. It was certainly a different role for Martin, who is used to being a starter and the team’s main scoring threat. Even though his shooting percentages were off the charts, his average of 14.0 points per game was a little less than the Thunder expected. Not to mention, he was not very productive in other parts of his game as well.
“I knew exactly what my role was going to be,” Martin said, according to Newsok.com. “I knew I was going to go from being the first option to being the third option. I was going to have to embrace it, and that’s what I did. I came in here and just trying to be a positive influence with what they had already started to create around here and just help the team in any form I can.”
Oklahoma City will still need a player of Martin’s talent to come off the bench in order to give the team an extra boost. However, there is no way the Thunder are going to give him more than $10 million per season, which is what his contract over the past five years paid him. That means if Martin wants to stay with a contender and have a legitimate shot at winning a NBA Championship, taking less money to stay in Oklahoma City is the only way.
The fact that Martin is a pure shooter who can knock down shots from anywhere on the court is a huge reason why many teams are going to be interested in him in free agency. Last season, he converted 45.0 percent of his shots from the field and a career-high 42.6 percent from beyond the arc. He is not someone who needs to take a lot of shots to be effective, which is good considering the Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to do that.
There is no question other contenders will be interested, but Oklahoma City already has the pieces in place. Martin could be the difference maker next season if the team can stay healthy.