Timberwolves open to buying out Kevin Martin — if he asks

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The Timberwolves are reportedly finalizing a buyout with Andre Miller.

He might not be the only Minnesota veteran headed out.

Kevin Martin could get a buyout if he requests one, according to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.

Jerry Zgoda of the StarTribune:

Taylor said GM Milt Newton hasn’t called Martin’s agent, Dan Fegan, to negotiate a buyout.

But Taylor said he’d be “open” if Martin’s side calls and makes a proposal.

“I’m not pursuing that,” Taylor said. “You always need some guys with experience who can shoot threes.”

Do you, though? The Timberwolves still have plenty of experience with Kevin Garnett and Tayshaun Prince, and Minnesota interim coach Sam Mitchell loathes 3-pointers relative to his coaching peers. Plus, Martin’s playing time stands in the way of developing younger players, and his productivity hurts the Timberwolves’ lottery position.

There’s a reason his name came up so frequently in trade rumors. Martin, 33, just doesn’t fit this rebuilding team.

But Martin’s case is much more complicated than Miller’s, because Martin earns more money and has a player option for next season. He’s still due $9,419,647 — $2,042,147 for the rest of this season and $7,377,500 next season if he exercises a player option.

If he’s bought out, the buyout amount would be paid one of two ways:

  • 22% this season, 78% next season
  • 22% this season, 26% each of the following three seasons

Minnesota’s would determine whether or not to use the stretch provision, but that’d likely be negotiated in buyout discussions.

If he hit the open market, Martin would draw plenty of suitors. He’s a quality outside shooter and good scorer overall. Plenty of teams can use wing depth. Just look at the interest in Joe Johnson.

But it’s hard to see a buyout number that makes sense for both sides.

Unless Martin is willing to leave a lot of money on the table, the Timberwolves probably don’t want to clog their cap in coming seasons. Martin might just opt out and leave without them owing him anything next year. Or, if he opts in, they might even be able to trade him for value — or at least dump his contract without attaching a sweetener — once the dust settles on a wild free agent market. With the salary cap set to spike, some teams will be left in the cold on free agents and might not see Martin’s $7,377,500 2016-17 salary as so bad.

This will come down to how badly Martin wants to leave Minnesota by Tuesday’s deadline for being waived to join another team’s playoff roster. The answer will probably have to be very badly for the Timberwolves to consent to a buyout.