Let me begin by saying I did not support the James Harden trade. To much great chemistry to break up that core. However, let me continue to say that Kevin Martin is one of the best “bang-for-your-buck” guys in the NBA. Quick Disclaimer: I will not be talking about defense. We all know that Kevin Martin sucks at defense. I don’t even think comparing him to a chair would be fair, because at least the chair provides an obstacle. Beyond that however, he is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no all star, but I would take him on my team any day. First off, lets start with the basics: 18 ppg, 86.7% FT, 44.4% FG, an unselfish attitude, and a willingness to take a backseat to help the team. There is no doubt the man is a scorer. He only has 3.3 rpg and 2 apg. But man is he a good scorer. There are a lot of places to score from on the floor. Kevin Martin can score from them all. One of the best 3 point shooting strokes, and such a light touch on his layups. He absorbs contact inside with an insane skill, only to finish the play. He is as good of a mid-range shooter as well, which means there is no place on the floor that Kevin Martin cannot score from. It is beautiful watching him. He even scores in the low post with a nice post turnaround. All these skills are in conjunction with the fact that he is a 6’7″ SG who has a good handle, a deceptive pump fake and crazy quickness. And this all culminates into the greatest Kevin Martin ability. Off the ball movement. His amazing three point shooting allows him to hit spot up shots. His quick release means that defenders can’t close on him. His deceptive pump fake, handle, quickness, and inside scoring mean that he can beat overzealous defenders, and score at the rim or from mid-range. While Kevin Martin can create his own shot (he did it a lot in Houston), he is much better moving off ball. There are moments in OKC games, and Kevin Durant will kick the ball to the unseen and wide open Martin who sinks a three ball with that awesome drop-strait-to-the-floor swish. He will come out of no where. He knows how to get open on the perimeter. His defender will just be looking around. Some times the defender that is covering him on the perimeter will fade to help in the paint, trusting his own ability to close on K-Mart. Suddenly Kevin Martin has the ball and shoots with that .00001 second release of his, and the defender has not time to get back to contest the shot. Other times, he will get an off-ball pick, do a V-cut, and drain the spot up 3, all before the defender can get back to him. He provides one of the best off ball scoring two guards in the game, and provides an excellent background scorer to the more prolific Durant and Westbrook. That also touches on a key: he is an excellent background scorer. He will pass. In his career he has averaged 12.3 shots per game. He will take a back seat. And that mentality allows him to be one of the best background scorers in the NBA. And all of this at a low cost? He is fairly undemanding, so you can keep two superstars on staff with Durant and Westbrook. Thus, in terms of getting the most for your dollar, Kevin Martin is where you look.
[On a side note, what is with his shooting stroke? Does he put any arc on the ball? Its like he just holds the ball in front of him and flicks his wrist. It has this beautiful effect, where the ball will just hit the back of the rim on a swish and drops strait to the ground. It is one of the nicest “post-swish” looking shots.]