Kevin Martin must feel as if his name is a permanent part of all trade rumor reports by now. The past two seasons rumors of the Timberwolves talking about trading him have been constant, and that continues this season, but he is still pulling on a Minnesota jersey every night.
The Wolves are definitely motivated to move Martin. They want to open up more playing time for Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad and Martin clearly would prefer to be on a team that is more competitive at this stage in his career, and one that has an offense that better suits his skill set. So far, the Wolves have not found a willing trade partner. One of the road blocks is that Martin has a player option on his contract next year. The Wolves have been told by several teams that they would like assurances from Martin that he will waive that option and become a free agent next summer.
Martin has not done that. This appears to be about money — Martin is owed $7.4 million next season if he picks up that option, and his game has shown its age this season. Martin is scoring 11.3 points per game (lowest since his sophomore season), he is shooting 37.2 percent overall (lowest of his career) and 34.2 percent from three (second lowest). He’s about to turn 33, which suggests those numbers are going to continue to slide.
If Martin is a free agent next summer, can he get a contract that will guarantee him $7.4 million? Even with all the cash awash in the system that’s a tough case to make. You can’t blame a man for making sure he gets the largest payday he can.
But it may mean he is pulling on a Timberwolves jersey for a while longer.