The race for Kevin Martin’s services begins as the Minnesota Timberwolves and the veteran guard have finalized a contract buyout that will make Martin available in the free agent market.
Martin can be claimed off waivers but his salary amounting to about $14 million this year and next will turn off any potential buyers in the waiver wire. Martin is expected to clear waivers and he will be free to choose which team—most likely a title or playoff contender—will he be playing for next.
Marc Stein of ESPN was one of the first to report Martin’s contract buyout with the Wolves and that Martin is being chased by “a number of playoff-bound teams”. Martin will clear waivers on midnight of Thursday and his decision for his next NBA team is expected before the week ends.
According to Stein’s report, the San Antonio Spurs, currently the second-ranked team in the West, are “strong contenders” in acquiring the 33-year-old Martin. Other teams mentioned that are expected to join the Spurs’ attempt to acquire the veteran guard are the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.
Among all teams mentioned—three from the West and one from the East—the Spurs have the biggest chance of winning the title and could be the most attractive for Martin,
At 50-9, the Spurs are just four games behind league-leading Golden State Warriors.
Martin is a streaky shooter who is known for his scoring although his defense leaves much to be desired. He is an experienced NBA player however with stints for various squads including the Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder and most recently, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Martin has played in just 39 games for the Wolves this season and saw limited minutes averaging 10.6 points on 37.7% shooting and 36.9% three-point shooting.
If the Spurs—or the Rockets, Mavericks or Hawks– acquire him, that team will add an additional firepower off the bench, which is vital in their respective playoff runs.
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