5 Teams That Should Trade for Houston Rockets' Kevin Martin

Branden FitzPatrickCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2012

5 Teams That Should Trade for Houston Rockets' Kevin Martin

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    There was a time when Kevin Martin was among the NBA's elite scorers. In fact, that time wasn't so long ago. In the right situation, Martin could once again flourish. With only one year left on his current deal, Martin is a valuable expiring contract that teams will look to acquire. 

    But which NBA teams will be willing to take a rental on Martin?

    Martin is 29 years old and has likely already seen his best days in the NBA. He's a quality offensive player, but good luck watching him on the defensive side of the floor. 

    If you take a look at the rosters of the elite teams in the NBA, not many of them have a spot or the assets to acquire Martin. The Los Angeles Lakers have Kobe Bryant. The Brooklyn Nets have Joe  Johnson. The Boston Celtics already acquired Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. The Dallas Mavericks just signed O.J. Mayo. 

    Instead, the teams likely to look into obtaining Martin are the ones on the cusp of making a postseason run or looking to shed a contract in exchange for Martin's expiring deal. 

    Here is a list of five teams that should trade for Martin: 

Charlotte Bobcats

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    Trade: DeSagana Diop, Gerald Henderson and Reggie Williams for Martin

    Believe it or not, but the Charlotte Bobcats have quietly put together a team with a lot of potential. In 2011-12, the Bobcats were arguably the worst basketball team ever. With the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106), the Bobcats finished their pathetic season 7-59. 

    In the offseason, the Bobcats added the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions and Brendan Haywood. 

    The D.J Augustin-less Bobcats now have a backcourt of Gordon, Sessions, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson. The Bobcats are a playmaker away from becoming a decent basketball team. 

    With Martin available by trade, the Bobcats could offer the Rockets center DeSagana Diop, forward Reggie Williams and guard Gerald Henderson. Martin would give the Bobcats a strong backcourt, a strength that could take them far in the Eastern Conference. Gordon could spell Martin, making sure the Bobcats have offensive firepower on the court at all times. 

    The Bobcats would also be dumping three expiring contracts at once in exchange for just one.

    Why the Rockets Would Say Yes

    If the Rockets are unable to land Dwight Howard, they need to consider bottoming out this season in order to obtain a high lottery pick. Rockets GM Daryl Morey amnestied Luis Scola and traded Chase Budinger and Kyle Lowry. The Rockets also lost Goran Dragic in free agency, who they replaced with Jeremy Lin.

    By trading Martin to the Bobcats, the Rockets would receive three expiring deals and a better chance of finishing lower in the Western Conference standings. The Rockets could waive Diop immediately and keep Henderson and Williams for their potential. 

    The Rockets could play the season out with Lin, Henderson, Chandler Parsons and their three first-round draft picks from the 2012 NBA draft. The Rockets have talent on their roster. A high draft pick in the 2013 NBA draft could give the Rockets their own Oklahoma City Thunder-type situation. 

Utah Jazz

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    Trade: Paul Millsap for Josh Harrellson and Martin

    The Utah Jazz have an embarrassment of riches. There aren't many teams in the NBA that possess three good low-post players on their roster, let alone four. The Jazz have Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. 

    Favors and Kanter will both demand more minutes this upcoming season, making Millsap expendable.

    If the Jazz trade Millsap, they would pair Martin with newly acquired Mo Williams. Just like that, the Jazz would go from having one of the worst backcourts in the NBA to a high scoring threat. Martin would spread out the Jazz's lineup, instead of them continually relying on the frontcourt to make plays.

    Why the Rockets Would Say Yes

    If the Rockets choose to compete for the playoffs this upcoming season, they need some help in the low post. Millsap would give the Rockets an inside presence, also removing Martin from the backcourt in order to let Lin and Jeremy Lamb do their work. 

    Josh Harrellson is a good young player, but is also easily expendable.

Chicago Bulls

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    Trade: Luol Deng for Patrick Patterson and Martin

    Before the 2012 NBA draft, trade rumors with Luol Deng's name attached to them were running rampant.

    Deng is set to make about $27.5 million over the next two years. Unfortunately, the Bulls are also tied down with contracts to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. The Bulls must be careful with their cap space, especially with Taj Gibson's free agency approaching. 

    If the Bulls trade Deng for Martin and Patrick Patterson, they will be losing their second best player but also freeing themselves up cap wise in order to re-sign Gibson next summer. Martin's contract is expiring and will still give the Bulls a chance to compete with Derrick Rose out of the lineup due to his ACL tear. 

    Patterson is also a young player with potential. A trade for Martin and Deng straight up would be unfair, so a young player like Patterson would have to be included.

    Why the Rockets Would Say Yes

    If the Rockets could flip Martin and young player X for Deng, all of sudden that roster becomes pretty interesting. Deng, Parsons, Lin and the three first-round draft picks could be a sneaky good team. 

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Trade: Wes Matthews, Luke Babbitt, Dan Gadzuric and Ronnie Price for Martin and Harrellson

    After re-signing restricted free agent Nicolas Batum, the Blazers still find themselves a player away from competing for a spot in the postseason.

    If the Blazers were able to acquire Martin from the Rockets, they would then have the roster ready to face off against the Western Conferences elite. LaMarcus Aldridge is an all-star-level power forward, and Batum has the potential to be an all-star as well. Matthews has been good for the Blazers, but the team could still use more instant offense.

    Martin would be that offense. 

    In order to make the trade work, the Blazers would have to include expiring contracts and a young player. Babbitt is young and could eventually develop into a role player. Both Gadzuric and Price have expiring contracts. The Rockets could also waive Price if they so choose.

    With Martin's deal expiring at the end of the year, the Blazers could also free up some cap space after their huge deal with Batum. 

    Why the Rockets Would Say Yes

    Matthews is younger than Martin. His contract, a little over $6.5 million for three years, is also a good price for a starting shooting guard. Matthews, Lamb and Lin could develop into being a strong backcourt for years to come. 

    Gadzuric and Price both have expiring contracts, so neither will be in Houston long. Babbitt is also a nice investment. 

Indiana Pacers

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    Trade: Danny Granger for Martin

    Danny Granger is one of the most overrated players in the NBA. 

    Sure, he averages 18.7 points per game and plays the part of go-to guy for the Indiana Pacers, but Granger lacks that extra "level" that makes elite players elite. 

    Granger rarely makes game changing plays or big-time shots. With the Pacers giving Roy Hibbert such a ginormous contract, their future could be tied into how far Granger takes them. 

    That's a scary idea.

    Granger is not a scrub by any means. But when he's the best player on your team, have fun watching the conference championship from your couch. Martin would not solve the Pacers' issue of not having a true franchise player, but he would give the team some much needed cap space at the end of the season.

    As Grantland.com's Bill Simmons said, if the Pacers do keep Granger, they need Paul George to become a star or else they'll be stuck in the middle of the pack for years to come.

    Why the Rockets Would Say Yes

    A new environment may be just what Granger needs. 

    Granger may not be good enough to make the Pacers a serious title threat, but he could be great on a roster filled with young players. Granger, Lin, Parsons, Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones is a good team heading forward.