Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin is in the final year of his contract and will become a free agent this summer.
Martin is making over $12 million per year this season and if he is going to re-sign with the Thunder – and he does want to – he will have to take a major pay-cut.
The Thunder are right below the salary cap this season and they obviously are going to do everything possible to avoid any luxury tax penalties.
What is going to change the most for the Thunder next season will be Serge Ibaka making $12.25 million per year instead of $2.25 million. Most other players on the roster will get a small increase in salary as well.
Martin could probably find $8-9 million per year in free agency this summer, just not from the Thunder.
Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com, recently wrote an article ranking the value of each upcoming free agent. He has Martin valued at $5.5 million, which is right around the amount where you’d expect the Thunder to consider paying him.
You don’t have to be a mathematics major to realize that even if Martin took that much of a pay-cut, the Thunder would still be over the salary cap.
Amnestying Kendrick Perkins has always been an option that many think the Thunder will one day consider. To keep Martin, that might mean Perkins has to go too.
Martin’s playoff performance is going to go a long way in determining whether or not the Thunder will try and re-sign him. Martin’s play has been on the decline this season and if he is a no-show in the playoffs, the Thunder may just let him walk.
The Thunder also have a few first round draft picks coming up as well as rookie Jeremy Lamb who may be seen by the Thunder organization as a better deal than Martin.