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Kevin Martin says he considered returning to the Thunder for less money

Jul 21, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Kevin MArtin

Kevin Martin registered his lowest points per game average in nine seasons last year with the Thunder, though his role there was a bit different than it had been with other teams in seasons past.

Martin was tasked with a sixth man role in Oklahoma City, after playing starter’s minutes essentially his entire career before getting there. He had a largely up and down season, and ultimately opted to take the cash by signing a four-year deal with the Timberwolves.

But it appears he at least considered staying with the Thunder for less money, due to the fact that they are near the top of the list of teams that are in the championship conversation.

From Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:

[Martin] chose the Wolves’ four-year offer worth nearly $28 million over a Thunder proposal that was significantly restricted by the luxury tax. Asked if he seriously considered returning to Thunder for relatively little money but the chance to win a championship, he said, “Always. I also feel like I found the same thing with Minnesota being younger. They’ve had some injuries over the years, but they’re a good team, too. I made a decision and I think it’s a great one. I learned from Oklahoma CIty, they’re a great organization. The way KD and Russ approach the game, I  think that’s something I’ll bring to Minnesota.”

Minnesota has a lot of interesting pieces in Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and potentially Nikola Pekovic if he re-signs as expected. But they’re nowhere near the level of proven success that the Thunder have achieved — at least not yet.

It’s hard to blame Martin for taking the higher-dollar offer that was presented, but let’s not pretend that the Timberwolves are anywhere near as close to contending for a title as a healthy Thunder team would be with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both firmly in the picture.

  1. casualcommenter - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    It’ll be really interesting to see the OKC Thunder next year.

    After trading away Harden a year ago, they just lost Kevin Martin, who gave them around 15 points per game with elite outside shooting (43% from 3).
    The playoffs this year showed that Durant and Westbrook were the only other guys on the team who could create their own shot. Without Westbrook, their offense became the “Durant show.”

    Even if they sign Mike Miller for cheap, to expect 10-15 points per game on a consistent basis from Miller at this point isn’t reasonable, so those points have to come from somewhere.

    They’re going to need young guys, especially Lamb and Jackson, to step up big.

  2. money2long - Jul 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM


    • sylpkt - Jul 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM


      • money2long - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        accidental caps lock

      • money2long - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        ^how do you thumbs that down ? it’s not even an opinion…lol. some people just having a bad day apparently.

  3. patfic15 - Jul 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Look. I love the Thunder. Huge fan of the team, but let’s not pretend they are getting out of the west with just KD and Westbrook. Not with that albatross Perkins. They need a legit, mobile, and capable big. Maybe Ibaka will be better, but they aren’t gonna replace what Harden gave them. Years from now that will be the move looked on and frowned upon when KD bolts.

  4. zoomy123 - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    OKC is in very serious trouble. With the departure of Harden and now Martin, their bench is now in dir straits.

  5. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    I saw a women broken down today and in need of help and I considered pulling over. So that makes me a good guy right?

  6. gogatorsjohn - Jul 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I take it with consideration of it being the Summer League but I thought Lamb looked like a decent player. It could perhaps make Martin expendable, esp if Mike Miller stays healthy (big IF).

  7. locator08 - Jul 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    i know kev personnaly…im suprised myself he didnt resign with Thunder..i know the Championship is important to him..but also..this is prolly his last BIG contract..coming off a down year…the money and future security was also important apparently

  8. sportsnut101 - Jul 21, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    This why players need to shut up

    He scored for sucky teams. He did nothing with the thunder Great shooter forgot how to shoot in playoffs cuz he was always on sucky team. Derek fisher outplayed him

    Enjoy missing playoffs with wolves.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Exactly, the Thunder is Westbrook and Durant, period. Whoever they put around them will fill the roster out. You heard this same nonsense when Miami put their team together. Where are they going to get players with so much invested in three players, blah, blah, blah?

      Martin was the lead dog on a horrible Kings team, lead dog on a mediocre Rockets team, and that team didn’t get much better exchanging him for Harden nor did the Thunder get worse, which is why the Thunder wisely let him walk for the money he was asking. If Westbrook doesn’t get hurt, at minimum they’re going 7 with the Spurs but more than likely facing the Heat again in the Finals.

      It’s called cap responsibility so you don’t end up in horrible deals with players who aren’t going to be part of getting you over the hump years down the line. Ask the Hawks about how that worked out when they decided to pay just above average talent who were not superstars big money.

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