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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

Kevin Martin is moving on.

After just one season in a Thunder uniform, Martin on Tuesday agreed to a four-year, $28 million contract with Minnesota, according to multiple media reports.

The deal can't become official until July 10, when the NBA lifts the annual moratorium on trades and free-agent signings.

“Minny was my first option outside OKC, so I've got to take it,” Martin told USA TODAY Sports. “Especially being (with coach Rick) Adelman, and their starting lineup just needed a (shooting) guard, so I feel like it's a perfect fit. I'm not one to play around. I know where my heart is.”

Martin was one of the pieces the Thunder received in the preseason trade that sent James Harden to Houston. But his departure does not come as a surprise. It was common knowledge that Martin was a one-year rental who would keep the Thunder in championship contention as opposed to a key piece who would complement the team's core for future seasons.

Oklahoma City also received Jeremy Lamb and this year's 12th and 32nd overall picks, which the Thunder used on Steven Adams and Alex Abrines, respectively, and a future first-round pick from Dallas in the deal. Many have criticized that package as below market value for a budding perennial All-Star like Harden. But the Thunder is banking on those assets blossoming and in time becoming critical components around Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

With maximum contracts already extended to Durant and Westbrook, as well as sizable deals on Ibaka and center Kendrick Perkins, the Thunder simply didn't have the resources to re-sign Martin. Doing so would have put the franchise well past the tax threshold, which, starting this season, penalizes teams $1.50 for every $1 they exceed that plateau. Next season's tax line is projected to be $71.6 million.

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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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