Kevin Martin Wants to Stay with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook
Martin, a free agent at the end of this year, wants to be able to stick in Oklahoma City with the Thunder alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for a time past the end of this season (via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports):
This summer, hopefully everything works out here. I haven't said that too often. But I will put it out there; hopefully I have found a home in the NBA. I love playing with this group of guys. The organization is great to me. The community has been great to me. It's the happiest I have been during my NBA career.
Martin is in the final year of his contract, one that is paying him $12.4 million this season, while playing for the third team of his career in just his eighth season in the NBA.
It goes without saying that Martin shouldn't be expecting to receive a contract that will pay him upward of $12 million a year after this season, and it's going to be a bit interesting to see what the Thunder can pay him with their payroll situation.
After Martin is off the books this summer, Oklahoma City will be on the hook for $66 million if Eric Maynor's qualifying offer is included.
The luxury tax line will be just over $70 million next season, which is just what the Thunder were trying to avoid when they traded Harden.
Of course, it's going to be at least the end of the season before we know exactly what the Thunder's plans are, as general manager Sam Presti isn't one to discuss money matters during the season. Via the Yahoo! Sports article, Presti said:
We will handle anything contractual at the appropriate time when the season is concluded. We certainly are pleased with [Martin] and excited about how he has fit in and how hard he has worked to fit in.
The Thunder are off to a 34-10 start with Martin coming in off the bench, their best 34-game start since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle.
Martin is an integral part of this team, but the money situation for the Thunder is going to be the main decision-maker as to whether or not he gets to stay in Oklahoma City.
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