With Joe Johnson headed to Miami, the next-best name on the buyout market for teams in need of a shooter is Kevin Martin, who has been in negotiations with the Timberwolves for several days. If Martin is waived before March 1, he will be eligible to play in the postseason once signing with a new team. Once the expected buyout happens, Martin might not be on the market for long. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the likeliest landing spot for him post-buyout is with the Spurs.
The Spurs, it should be noted, currently have 15 players under contract and would need to waive someone to clear a roster spot for Martin. The most obvious candidate is veteran swingman Rasual Butler, who has averaged 9.7 minutes per game in 41 games this season. Matt Bonner plays even less, but given his reputation among teammates and years of tenure in San Antonio, that might not be viable. Unless, of course, Bonner then retires and takes a job of some kind in the organization, which has long been seen as inevitable once his playing career is over anyway.
Martin is having a down year in Minnesota, shooting just 37.7 percent from the field, the lowest of his career. But in San Antonio, he’d be a luxury. The Spurs are already a powerhouse — they’d be the clear title favorites in a universe where the Warriors don’t exist. Adding Martin doesn’t make or break their title odds, but there’s zero downside to adding another veteran shooter.