It’s pretty obvious at this point. Kevin Martin has not been a good replacement for James Harden, but a brilliant one. Arguments are being made that the Thunder are better with Martin in Oklahoma City than with James Harden. Either way, bringing in Martin to virtually replace Harden was a genius idea by GM Sam Presti, as Martin has basically established himself as a legit Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
It’s pretty amazing to see how well Martin has blended in with the Thunder core in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook virtually on the go due to the fact that the trade happened after training camp. The way Martin stretches the floor for this team is so valuable, making this Oklahoma City team so much harder to beat.
Martin is averaging 15.7 points per game heading into the matchup with the Miami Heat on Christmas Day. The stat that stands out to me is that he is shooting .458 percent from three and his field goal percentage is .469.
And, yesterday, Martin told HoopsWorld that he wants to stay with the Thunder for longer than just this year.
It’s not like Martin was going to say no, however, and that’s always a good sign.
“Oh yeah,” Martin said when asked if wants to stay in Oklahoma City long-term. “I get that question a lot since it’s a contract year. There are going to be teams interested over the summer, but I’m so happy right now and being with these guys has given me an extra pep in my step. It’s just fun being here. It’s a great organization and great guys. I’m happy right now.”
But Thunder fans have already been around this situation with players saying they want to sign long-term and will take less money to win. (Cough, Cough) James Harden (Cough, Cough).