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NBA Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Lineup Would be Devastated if Kevin Martin Left

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Lineup Would be Devastated if Kevin Martin Left

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder brought shooting guard Kevin Martin in to replace 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden after he was dealt to the Houston Rockets in a trade. The Thunder knew there was a possibility that they would only have Martin for one season, but it appears they did not actually believe he would leave town. However, if Martin does decide to sign with another team in free agency, there is no question it would devastate the Thunder’s lineup.

To go from Harden to Martin to no one as the clear sixth man on the roster would certainly force Oklahoma City into a bad position. The fact that Martin believes he deserves a top-notch contract does not bode well for the Thunder, an organization that does not intend to pay him top dollar. For that reason, he is looking into the numerous teams that have already shown an interest in him.

“I know they have tough decisions based on their salary cap and I have tough decisions because I’m 30 years old and I still feel like I’m … the top shooting guard, actually starting shooting guard, in this free agency,” Martin said, according to USA Today Sports. “Both sides have positions, and I think we’ll face them in the upcoming week and just see how the whole process plays out. As (Thunder general manager) Sam (Presti) told me, I deserve to be in this process.”

Martin certainly has plenty of leverage as he is regarded as one of the top shooting guards available in free agency this summer. The fact that his shooting percentages were off the charts this past season means many teams will be willing to give him the contract he is looking for.

The eight-year veteran averaged 14.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He also shot 45.0 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc in 77 contests.