Based on how Kevin Martin has performed throughout his NBA career, it's not outlandish to think the Thunder potentially has replaced last season's Sixth Man of the Year with this year's winner.
Martin has been one of the league's most efficient offensive players the past six seasons. Whether he is shooting from long range, penetrating or getting to the free-throw line, Martin converts.
He and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard are the only two active players averaging at least 18.0 points on 13 or fewer field-goal attempts per game in their careers.
Martin has ranked in the top 10 in free throws made in four different seasons and has gone 15 for 15 or better from the line eight times in his career.
Since the 2006-07 season, Martin ranks eighth among all NBA players in free-throw percentage (.870), ninth in free throws made, 10th in free throws attempted and 20th in 3-point shooting percentage (.380). By comparison, three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant ranks sixth, sixth, ninth and 35th in the same categories.
“He is a guy who has a great feel for the game, understands how to score, knows the league,” Thunder general manger Sam Presti said of Martin, who was part of a trade involving 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden.
If Thunder coach Scott Brooks sticks to his usual starting lineup with Thabo Sefolosha at shooting guard, Martin's instant offense off the bench could give OKC the league's top reserve player for a second straight season.
Martin and Brooks have worked together before. As assistant coaches with the Sacramento Kings in 2006-07, Brooks and Thunder assistant Rex Kalamian coached Martin during his breakout season as a 23-year-old.
“Our coaching staff has some history with him and knows him intimately. Obviously, I consulted with them,” Presti said. “I think that definitely helps. In speaking with those guys, they're pretty excited about having Kevin Martin and they know him very, very well on a personal note and on a basketball note as well. That's going to be important for us.”
23 KEVIN MARTIN
College: Western Carolina
Birth date: 2/1/83
NBA seasons: Eight