It seemed Kevin Martin was destined to play out his career like Mitch Richmond, quietly dropping buckets outside of the spotlight during his prime before hooking up with a title contender in his late-30′s to snag a ring on his way out.
But depending on how things go down at this month’s NBA trade deadline, K-Mart could find himself on one of the League’s high-profile contenders while still on top of his game. In addition to rumors connecting Martin to Boston in a deal involving Ray Allen, new rumors have surfaced of trades that would send K-Mart to Dallas or Minnesota.
Blame Tyreke Evans for Martin’s sudden availability. Before the Rookie of the Year front-runner came to Sacramento, Martin was the centerpiece of the Kings’ franchise, status confirmed by his eight-figure salary over the next four years. And Martin re-established his role early, averaging 30.6 points in Sacramento’s first five games, including a 48-point effort against Memphis. But then Martin went out for a couple of months with a wrist injury, and by the time he came back, Tyreke had been anointed the new star of the Kings’ show. Throw in the fact that the team has gone 1-12 since K-Mart’s return — fueling perceptions that Tyreke and Martin may not work well together — and Martin has become expendable.
Of the three teams said to be most interested in K-Mart, the Mavs are the best fit. They need a two-guard who can create his own shot and get to the free-throw line, and Martin is the kind of SG who can give them 20-25 points per game without taking too many shots away from Dirk Nowitzki.
Martin shoots well enough to adequately fill the Ray Allen role in Boston, although you’d imagine it would take some time for Doc Rivers to trust him as a guy to draw up plays for in game-winning situations. Not that I think Ray is really the problem in Boston’s recent struggles, but K-Mart offers younger legs and a fresh start for a team that may have gone stagnant.
The Timberwolves need all the help they can get, but for K-Mart, Minnesota is a lateral move.
Which team do you think benefits the most from getting Kevin Martin?
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