FanPost

Kevin Martin's not happy...Could we make a trade work?


Kevin Martin had this to say after his first scoreless game:

“If we’re winning and I’m sitting, I’m happy. Tonight, we got beat and I’m on a 10-day contract leash. I’m not happy about that just because we lost. If we’re winning, I’ll sit over there for 48 minutes.”


Do we want to? I know we've discussed Martin in various other FanPosts before, but it's always been because he and Danny Granger have similar value, and we've talked about swapping them. But now, could Martin be a buy-low candidate? Could we get him without trading Granger? Hear me out.

So let's say the Rockets decide to rebuild. They're a fringe playoff team in the West, but look like they won't be in the title conversation any time soon. They could either add a star now (unlikely) or add picks to combine with their current young core to try to set themselves up for the long term. I somehow doubt that Daryl Morey will actually buy into this plan, given his pre-season attempt at Pau Gasol, but if he does, check out what we could do for them in a Kevin Martin trade:

We send Dahntay Jones, Lance Stephenson and a lightly-protected (like top 15) first rounder to Houston for Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic OR Jonny Flynn (though they'd probably prefer to dump Flynn).

Why they do it: It saves them about $11 off of this year's payroll, and an additional $10 million over the course of Kevin Martin's remaining contract year. It also adds another young, intriguing piece in Stephenson, and of course the draft pick, which Morey loves. If Kevin Martin's uncomfortable, there's very little else out there for him, unless they wait until the trade deadline next year and deal his expiring contract. But by then, if things get worse and he gets more disappointed in his PT, he may start looking less and less like a player who is even worth trading for.

Why we do it: Well, Martin is exactly what we need right now. It would mean we'd be doing something with our rotation that I swore I'd never advocate, and that's (temporarily) benching Paul George. But after watching him through nearly half a season so far, it's clear he's not ready for 30+ minutes per game. He's just not confident and consistent enough. Martin is a low-risk gamble, as he expires after next season, so he won't jeopardize our prospects of eventually long-termming any of our current players. Flynn has a team option too next year, so he'd essentially just be low-risk, high ceiling salary filler (like Lance would be to them in this trade). We'd have to go over the cap to pay Martin's final contract year, Hibbert AND George Hill, but if we were smart with the rest of our signings, we wouldn't pay luxury tax. After a calendar year on our team, if things weren't working out, we could dangle him at the deadline for different pieces. Those concerned with losing a draft pick in this stacked draft can rest easy; if the Pacers finish near the 20th pick range, that talent is pretty standard fare, barring a slip from one of the borderline elite guys. And late first rounders are always for sale, anyway, if we absolutely must have a rookie.

I think Martin gives us exactly what we need (an offensive-minded shooting guard who can, to some degree, get his own shots) at a pretty low cost if this scenario is realistic. It's better than trading a protected first rounder for someone who will be a free agent this summer, like Chris Kaman or Steve Nash. It's also only slightly less cost effective than overpaying (for the rest of the year) a free agent like J.R. Smith, but given that it doesn't keep us from paying our own free agents, I think it's worth it to spend the extra money.

What are your thoughts?

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