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Thunder's Kevin Martin headed to Minnesota

According to reports, the OKC guard accepted a four-year deal worth $28 million.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 2, 2013
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photo - MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin (23) drives against Memphis' Tony Allen (9) during Game 3 in the second round of the NBA basketball playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzles at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, May 11, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin (23) drives against Memphis' Tony Allen (9) during Game 3 in the second round of the NBA basketball playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzles at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, May 11, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

The Thunder's payroll this season already is at about $69 million if you exclude Daniel Orton and DeAndre Liggins, both of whom have non-guaranteed contracts.

There's also the matter of Martin's production. He blended in as best he could in an imperfect situation but was far from an ideal fit with the Thunder. Accustomed to being the first option throughout much of his career, Martin was forced to adapt to being the third and sometimes fourth scoring option in OKC.

He averaged 14 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 77 games last season but scored 10 points or less in 20 games. In the postseason, Martin's shooting percentage plummeted, going from 45 percent to 38 percent from the field and 42.6 percent to 37 percent from 3-point range.

“I knew exactly what my role was going to be,” Martin said in May during his last interview as a member of the Thunder. “I knew I was going to go from being the first option to being the third option. I was going to have to embrace it and that's what I did. I came in here just trying to be a positive influence with what they had already started to create around here and just help the team in any form I can.”

The Thunder, because of its salary cap constraints, is not expected to replace Martin with a major free-agent signing. Instead, the team likely will look to Lamb and third-year guard Reggie Jackson to provide bench scoring.

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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