Spurs Head 5 Teams That Could Sign Kevin Martin
The Minnesota Timberwolves are going nowhere fast this season, which could lead to the quick departure of veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin.
Martin has provided a useful skill-set as a bench scorer for the mostly young Timberwolves, but at age 33 and with Minnesota looking toward the future, a divorce between the two sides isn’t just possible, it’s being talked about.
With buyout conversations starting to rule the rumor mill, it’s sounding more and more like Martin will be signing elsewhere within the next week. If so, the absence of K-Mart opens up even more court time for some of Minnesota’s younger wing talent such as Shabazz Muhammad and Zach Lavine, while making a quality perimeter scorer available to the highest bidder in free agency.
At this stage in his career, however, it doesn’t sound like Martin is after a huge role or a fat contract. Instead, Martin may want to latch on somewhere he can try to pitch in during a title run. Let’s take a look at the five spots that make the most sense:
San Antonio Spurs
Per Marc Stein, the Spurs have opened up as the favorite to land Martin, should he reach a buyout agreement with Minnesota. San Antonio makes perfect sense, as they don’t know when they’ll be getting Manu Ginobili back (groin) and really don’t have much scoring on the wing beyond Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.
ESPN sources say buyout talks continue for Minnesota’s Kevin Martin, with San Antonio emerging as the favorite to land him if deal is struck
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 27, 2016
Martin may not be an elite defender or a guy you can count on for huge minutes anymore, but he’s always been a strong outside shooter and a natural scorer. On paper he could project as a terrific add for a veteran Spurs team that is four games away from the top-ranked Golden State Warriors. If Martin wants a title, the Spurs are about as good of an opportunity as he’ll find.
Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC still lacks a true go-to scorer off the bench, so adding Martin would potentially give their second unit a huge boost. The Thunder were truly at their best back when James Harden could come in and take over off the bench, which gave Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook much-needed time to rest. Martin is older now and can only bring elite offense in spurts, but his scoring and experience only would bolster OKC’s depth. Already a dark horse to make a run at a title, adding Martin would naturally give OKC a mild boost, overall.
Cleveland lost out on the Joe Johnson sweepstakes, so they’ll undoubtedly show interest in adding a strong bench scorer that can hit open three’s. Martin is very likely to only go somewhere where he can both play 15-20 minutes and also have a chance to win for the first time in his career. Cleveland will probably want him, but it’ll be interesting to see if he thinks they’re closer to winning than the Spurs or Thunder.
The Rockets have dropped Marcus Thornton, so a spot hypothetically is open for Martin to come in and play a pretty key role. There had even been talks about the team cutting ties with Ty Lawson, so at the very worst the Rockets are not content with their current bench options.
Also, no Kevin Martin buyout yet, but add the Rockets among the interested teams. #twolves
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) February 26, 2016
Martin could be a key player right away and if the Rockets can enjoy a second half surge, they could potentially be a sleeper team to monitor.
You can also throw in other teams like the Hawks, maybe even the Warriors and the Raptors here, but Miami probably still leads them all as an attractive landing spot. The Heat are currently competing for the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and with Chris Bosh likely out for the year, they may be looking for even more offensive depth off the bench. Joe Johnson just agree to latch on, but getting another scorer would make Miami only that much stronger. If K-Mart sees it the same way, he could fill a role off the bench in South Beach.
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