Serge Ibaka has been overseas in Treviso as a special guest of the Adidas Eurocamp and recently spoke to reporters.
“There will be changes, like the departure of Kevin Martin. We have room for improvement and we have to add something to improve our play.”
It’s not going to surprise anyone if Martin doesn’t re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder but we certainly have yet to hear for sure whether he will or not.
Martin himself has been very candid in saying that he would love to re-sign with the Thunder and that he is willing to take a paycut to do so.
It’s going to be extremely difficult for OKC to re-sign Martin. They’d really have to get him to accept about $5 million per year or maybe even less to ensure remaining below the luxury tax. That seems pretty unlikely.
Ibaka seems to know something here and maybe it’s common knowledge within the Thunder organization that Martin is definitely on the way out.
It will be a big loss for the Thunder but not one that will be impossible to recover from. Martin definitely provided scoring that will be tough to replace quickly but overall, the Thunder will be better in the long run moving on from Martin quickly.
Jeremy Lamb will be expected more than anyone to produce and get playing time in Martin’s absence. Reggie Jackson also should see a large increase in minutes perhaps.
Then of course we don’t know who the Thunder will be taking in the lottery of the upcoming NBA Draft. There too they could be looking for some help replacing Martin.
Ibaka also said this about whether he would be playing for Spain in the Eurobasket: “There’s time left to make a decision. I’m more tired than in previous seasons, but that’s no excuse. (…) I’ve had three years with no rest and I have the give thought to what I will do.”