The Houston Rockets barely missed out on the playoffs, as a late-season decline caused them to just miss the cut.
No single player was to blame for their unsuccessful 2011-12 campaign, but certain players certainly contributed more than others.
Kevin Martin is one of those players who at times you love, and at times you just can't stand. He is one of the league's most prolific scorers, whose offensive talents allow him to consistently score double-digits.
However, beyond his unique scoring ability, not much else can be said of Martin's talents. He's as lazy a defender as they come, and his lack of passing has earned him the title "black hole." He simply takes any team chemistry and sucks it up.
Unlike some players who put the team first, Martin would rather chuck up a contested three than dish the ball out to a teammate. His poor defensive ability makes him a huge liability on the court. The common cliché states defense wins championships, and a player who refuses to play hard on both ends cannot be counted on to be a key member of a contending team.
If Houston wishes to return to the postseason, then adjustments need to be made, and shopping Martin seems to make the most sense. Martin is owed nearly $13 million next season, and his one-dimensional game is not worth the money.
Martin sat out a large chunk of the season with a shoulder injury. In that time, the up-and-coming Courtney Lee filled his role at the shooting guard position, and did so fairly well. He is a much more well-rounded player whose rising talent makes him a much better investment than Martin, who has already reached his peak.
The Rockets will need to bring in young talented center, as neither 38-year-old Marcus Camby nor 31-year-old Samuel Dalembert seem to be in it for the long run. If the Rockets want to enter next season as a powerful team, a young big man should be added to the roster. Martin is a good trade piece, as his scoring makes him ideal for teams lacking a scorer at the shooting guard position.
By parting ways with Martin, Morey and the entirety of the Rockets organization would be making a move that would benefit them in the long run. He is a talented player, but if Houston is eying a championship, Martin should not be part of the picture.