OKC Thunder notebook: Move to Minnesota was a tough decision for Kevin Martin

Martin said he had an idea last year would be his only season in Oklahoma City. There were moments throughout the year, he said, that confirmed that reality.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 1, 2013
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MOVE TO MINNESOTA WAS A TOUGH DECISION FOR KEVIN MARTIN

Free agency wasn't what Kevin Martin thought it would be.

The former Thunder guard assumed becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time would be exhilarating, a liberating process in which he, at 30 years old, finally controlled his destiny. But when teams came calling in July, the game suddenly turned serious.

“Everybody says free agency is fun. It wasn't fun for me,” Martin said before his Minnesota Timberwolves hosted the Thunder on Friday night. “That's a big decision to make for yourself and for your family. I thought it was going to be fun. It was stressful.”

Martin said he had an idea last year would be his only season in Oklahoma City. There were moments throughout the year, he said, that confirmed that reality.

“A lot of times the NBA is about the business,” Martin said. “You saw that firsthand with James Harden. Sometimes both sides have to make tough decisions.”

The Thunder faced an increasing payroll that, even without Martin, is close to exceeding the tax threshold this season. Martin, meanwhile, sought security. The two simply didn't mix.

Martin ultimately agreed to a four-year, $28 million contract with Minnesota, although the Thunder later worked out a sign-and-trade that netted OKC a $6.6 million trade exception. Milwaukee, Memphis and New Orleans also expressed interest.

“It was a pretty hectic first 24 hours,” Martin said of July 1, the first day teams could contact free agents. “Besides leaving school, that's the biggest decision of my career; especially at the age of 30, that could be your last free agent (contract). I did my research. I did it wisely with teams, and I felt like this was the perfect spot, ideal. Just what they need.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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