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5 Ways the Houston Rockets Can Maximize Kevin Martin as an Asset

Love PatelContributor IIIJune 26, 2016

5 Ways the Houston Rockets Can Maximize Kevin Martin as an Asset

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    As Kevin Martin inches closer to free agency, the Houston Rockets are faced with a number of possibilities in regards to his expiring contract.

    Martin was Houston's target in the trade market a few years ago when it was looking to unload a hobbled Tracy McGrady.

    Since then, much of the roster  has changed, Kevin McHale was chosen to replace Rick Adelman as head coach and Martin has expressed the uneasiness that comes with being an "asset."

    The reality is that Martin's cap figure in the final year of his contract is at $12.4 million, which gives any team who possesses his contract plenty of flexibility.

    Here's a look at some of the Rockets' options with Kevin Martin.

Keep Him

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    While there's plenty of value to be found for Kevin Martin on the trading block, the Rockets could ultimately opt to let him play out the season in Houston and seeing him walk in free agency.

    Much of this decision depends on how Morey feels about the flexibility in free agency and whether it's worth passing up the opportunity to get extra picks and assets.

    An important detail to note is that Martin's salary figure goes a long way in keeping the Rockets above the minimum salary threshold. Houston is already the lowest in cap figure for the 2012-2013 season at nearly $48 million.

Deadline Trade with Utah Jazz

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    A trade would likely consist of Millsap from the Jazz for Kevin Martin and an expendable player.

    The Jazz are stacked in the frontcourt and are developing enough talent to stay strong there for years.

    At the moment, they have a wealth of talent and could possibly find themselves in situations where they can't effectively maximize their time individually on the floor.

    Millsap would seemingly command more on the market than Jefferson would, and with the development of Enes Kanter, Millsap could be the odd man out.

    The Jazz are a well-built team that looks poised to make a playoff run, and if they're where they need to be by the trade deadline, a player like Kevin Martin could strengthen that backcourt.

    He may be a defensive liability, but pairing Martin with Mo Williams in the back makes them both a huge threat to score.

Deadline Trade with Denver Nuggets

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    After the huge trade that landed them Andre Iguodala earlier this offseason, the Nuggets look serious about competing in the West.

    They also hold a bevy of draft picks and a sizable trade exception from Nene's trade last season.

    Expectations for rookie Evan Fournier might be high, but he may not provide enough for the Nuggets to seriously compete from a depth standpoint.

    Kevin Martin's ability to score efficiently is a major asset anywhere, and it could really help the Nuggets make noise.

    Denver's embarrassment of riches in young talent could afford the Nuggets the opportunity to use some of their picks and the exception to acquire a player like Kevin Martin to help them in their run. 

Deadline Trade with Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Timberwolves are a plausible trade destination because of the relationship between head coach and Rick Adelman and Kevin Martin.

    Martin has thrived under Adelman in both Sacramento and Houston, and Minnesota is gearing up to become a contender in the West.

    Minnesota owns tradeable draft picks and is just under the cap. A combination of a pick and salary match could help the Wolves net Martin and get a player who has a strong working relationship with the head coach.

    Minnesota is perhaps the best destination for Martin, solely based on the head coaching situation. We have yet to see Martin thrive under anyone else.

Deadline Trade with Chicago Bulls

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    One could argue that the Bulls have been looking for help at the 2 spot for quite a while.

    Kevin Martin doesn't fit the Bulls' M.O. in terms of his defensive ability, something which he lacks completely. He does have an ability to score efficiently, which is something Chicago could use.

    Rip Hamilton is serviceable, but Martin may have more to offer. Hamilton's contract is certainly tradeable and could be paired with a valuable pick and some more salary to make it worthwhile for both teams.

    The Bulls could use a scoring threat like Martin, especially when Rose will be dealing with an injury that is likely to have some impact on his game when he does return.

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