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Kevin Martin won’t play without a superstar anymore

Jul 23, 2013, 1:37 AM EDT

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In nine NBA seasons, Kevin Martin has six times led a team in scoring – the Rockets thrice and Kings thrice. Martin, a dependable outside shooter with an ability to get to the free-throw line, has even scored up to 24.6 points per game.

Last season, as the Thunder’s sixth man, Martin had to settle into a different role. Playing with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Martin averaged just 14.0 points per game – his lowest total since his second season.

He didn’t mind. In fact, that experience played a crucial role in his free agency.

Martin, via Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

“After playing with Kevin Durant and Russell, I wasn’t going to another team without a superstar,” Martin said on Saturday. “It just elevates your game and makes your life a lot easier.”

Martin signed with the Timberwolves, who have Kevin Love. Love is not on the Durant level, or maybe even the Westbrook level, but Love meets my superstar threshold nonetheless.

Love’s scoring is certainly part of his superstardom, but his rebounding and passing for his size are also key components of making him worthy of the “superstar” tag. Love is the rare superstar who can score less than a non-star, let alone non-superstar, on his own team.

Though he’ll have competition from Love and Nikola Pekovic (assuming he re-signs), Martin has a good chance to lead the Timberwolves in scoring next season. If playing with a superstar is so important to Martin, Minnesota provides the opportunity for him to have the best of both worlds.

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