Tag Archives: Kevin Martin

Value and Kevin Martin

Photo Credit: ohsillymonkey/flickr
As has been said many times since last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves were atrocious three point shooting team last season, due in part to their lack of production from the shooting guard position. Sure, there were other factors like Kevin Love and Chase Budinger missing the majority of the season, but their concerning weakness at the position evolved into a glaring weakness as the season wore on. So, going into the off-season this was going to need to be addressed if the team truly expected to contend for a playoff spot next season.

First, they drafted Shabazz Muhammad out of UCLA. Next, they re-signed Budinger for 3 years and $16 million dollars, further fortifying their depth at the position for next season. Finally, they added veteran and former Rick Adelman student, Kevin Martin into the fold to the tune of 4 years and $28 million.

Some have balked at the average annual salary of the deal, but  when you have a need and a finite supply of players available that fill that need, you’re going to have to give a little. Besides, at $7 million per year, that’s a 40 percent pay cut from his $12 million dollar salary last season, so it’s not as if Martin sacrificed nothing to go to Minnesota. Besides, Martin is still a productive player and is expected to be their opening night starter. In fact, other players that made around $7 million at his position last season included: Arron Afflalo, George Hill,  and Rodney Stuckey. And if Martin can give them similar production to his 14 points per game on .450 percent shooting from the field while playing at least 70 games, then this will be just fine for all involved.

Now, Martin is 30 and the end of his deal would put him at 34, which might make some people uneasy considering last season was just the fourth time in his nine year career that he played 70+ games, but the risk is worth it if he still manages to produce and continues to avoid the injury bug. After all, last season the Timberwolves took a similar gamble on Andrei Kirilenko and he gave them 64 games in which he was arguably their most valuable player. And Kirilenko made $3 million more than Martin will next season.

Sure, this deal could wind up back-firing on the team, but the team finally sought out a long-term solution to what has been an ongoing problem. The price of his familiarity with Adelman’s system and teammate Chase Budinger may also prove invaluable to a team looking to make noise in a loaded Western Conference. We all just hope that he’ll be awaiting Ricky Rubio passes to hit corner threes instead of awaiting his teammates to high five them on their way back to the bench in a business suit.

LION FACE/LEMON FACE 4/12/13: IT’S NATE ROBINSON’S WORLD

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, unless of course you consider the show to be the NBA regular season in which case it’s actually ending very soon. Regardless, with the regular season winding down and the playoffs getting ready to start up, we’re bringing back America’s 34th favorite semi-running column: Lion Face/Lemon Face. As a refresher for those that forgot and introduction for those who are new here, Lion Faces are given to the best players, plays, or moments of the night; Lemon Faces are for the worst. Have a suggestion in the future? Tag it on Twitter with #LionFace or #LemonFace during a weeknight game and we’ll make sure one of our 921 writers see it. Without further ado, on to the LF/LF nominees from Thursday’s TNT doubleheader…

Lion Face: Nate Robinson

GIF from Beyond the Buzzer

It’s been a while since I watched professional wrestling regularly, but I do know that Wrestlemania XXIX was this past Sunday. I was shocked to find out and completely unaware that they unified five different championship belts, and they were apparently all won by Nate Robinson. Either that, or he is the most insured man on the planet after busting out the never before seen Discount Septuple Check following a three pointer. Robinson finished with 35 points on the night, a season high and the most points he’s scored in a game since New Year’s Day 2010. He also added 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and infinite swag in helping the Bulls snap the Knicks’ 13 game winning streak.

Lemon Face: Jarrett Jack

GIF from DailyThunder.com

In the immortal words of Harry Doyle, “Juuuuuuuust a bit outside.” On the plus side, the Raiders are set to start Matt Flynn this year and Terrelle Pryor is currently Flynn’s backup, so if the whole basketball thing ends up not working out for Jack, he can still put that arm to use in Oakland.

Lion Face: Jimmy Butler

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/JeffGurt/status/322536544089042944"]

Butler has been playing extremely well lately having chipped in a double digit scoring effort in 10 of his last 12 games including his career high 22 tonight. Butler also pulled down 14 rebounds, another career high, against the Knicks. Not too shabby for the 30th pick of the 2011 Draft.

Lemon Face: This Bulls fan

GIF from @SBNationGIF

This is actually a fantastic shot, so don’t think that it got a Lemon Face because it was somehow the worst of the night. I’m giving this a Lemon Face only for the sole fact that it looks like she might be ready to actually ingest a full lemon sometime within the next four seconds. Also, what is Joakim Noah doing in the stands right behind her? Why isn’t he getting back on defense? And why is he wearing a t-shirt jersey?

Lion Face: The Durant-Westbrook Connection

Without question, Durant and Westbrook gave us the best sequence of the night. A swat by Westbrook followed up by Kevin Durant’s complete lack of regard for human life coupled with Golden State’s complete lack of regard for transition defense made this happened. Just sit back and enjoy it.

Lion Face: Golden State’s 3 Point Shooting

GoldenState3s

Typically, if you shoot 183.3% from beyond the arc, that’s a pretty solid shooting night. Unfortunately for the Warriors, this actually appears to bring down the torrid 248.8% they were apparently shooting coming into last night’s contest. If you’re the type of person that’s actually into “statistics” and “actual facts”, Golden State actually entered the game shooting 40.2% from 3, good enough for first in the NBA. They finished last night 7-16 from 3 to slightly raise their shooting percentage on the year. Consider this as more of a season long Lion Face honor because honestly, the Lion Faces are hard to come by when you get blown out by 19 points on national TV.

Lion Face: Guys named Kevin on the Thunder

Kevin Martin Shot Chart via NBA.com

Kevin Martin Shot Chart via NBA.com

Kevin Durant Shot Chart via NBA.com

Kevin Durant Shot Chart via NBA.com

Kevin Martin: 8-10 from the field. 4-5 from beyond the arc. 3-3 from the line. 23 points in total. Yeah, Kevin Martin had himself a night off the bench for the Thunder. And if you ever wanted more proof that single game +/- is hilariously misleading at times, Martin finished with a +1 for the game. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant turned in a ho-hum 31-10-8 night on 10-16 field goals and shot 90% from the charity stripe. In the race for the scoring title, Durant now is averaging 28.2 points per game while Carmelo Anthony has widened his lead by averaging 28.6 points per contest. Speaking of Melo…

Limón Face: Carmelo Anthony

On one hand, Anthony became the first Knick to ever post six consecutive games of at least 35 points. In his five previous games, he shot at least 51% from the field, and shot over 60% in four of those five games. On the other hand, last night he needed 34 shots from the field to get his 36 points, and finished the game 13-34 (38%) including missing all four three-point attempts. It’s not often that a guy with a 36 point, 20 rebound effort deserves a Lemon Face, but 13-34 is far from Lionesque. Instead, he gets a hybrid of the two: the Limón Face.

Statistical support for this post provided by NBA.com

Lion Face/Lemon Face 12/26/11: Re-Introducing League Pass Alert

It’s not that we don’t love the high-marquee contenders squaring off on a Christmas Day marathon. We do. We really do.

But where the NBA is really at is last night. 12 games, one League Pass free preview, and a whole lot of faces.

Which faces, you ask? Well, that’s why Connor “Coner” Huchton and myself have combined forces to conveniently categorize all faces into two Affleck/Damon categories.

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rngjZ10yUyA&feature=player_embedded]

Lion Face: Stephen Curry

In a game where the entirety of Golden State (population: millions) seemed to play well, Stephen Curry looked the best. We’ve come to expect 21 points on a given night from Curry, but 12 assists and seven rebounds against one of the league’s best defenses goes beyond the typical Curry game. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Curry’s sterling defense against reigning MVP point guard Derrick Rose coupled with seven (yes, you read that correctly) steals. Curry left the game late in the 4th quarter with another ankle injury, but the injury appeared (thankfully) less than severe. Injury or no injury, Golden State’s triumphant win largely belonged to Curry. -Connor Huchton

Lemon Face: James Johnson’s hair

Photo from Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr

-Noam Schiller

Lion Face: Eric Gordon

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Rol2geN87E]

Eric Gordon isn’t worried about getting traded from a contender to a possible lottery team. The change of scenery doesn’t phase him. Send him to New Orleans, and he’ll play the role of franchise player, however temporary. Need a primary scorer, and he’s ready. Need someone to look mildly unenthused in an introductory press conference, and he’s ready. And when New Orleans needed a game-winning shot, he was ready. That final pull-up jumper wasn’t quite Chris Paul, but it sure was Eric Gordon. -CH

Lemon Face: Kevin Martin

You know what’s worse than trade rumors? Being involved in a voided trade. Sure, Luis Scola has handled it well, but I’m not sure the same can be said for Kevin Martin. He’s been out of sync since “preseason” (two games and a whole lot of confusion), and looked terrible against the Magic. Hopefully this is just a cold streak and nothing else, but until that breaks, Martin might want to search for that jumper. 1-10 FG from one of the league’s most efficient players? I don’t understand what’s happening. -CH

Lion Face: Byron Mullens

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26OQSk2Qz7M ]

Don’t you dare call him B.J. That Mullens is long gone. This? This is BYRON MULLENS. And he will pick and pop you into oblivion if you don’t respect him. Those career high 10 points that just sunk the Bucks? That’s just the start. Beware of Byron. -NS

Lemon Face: the Washington Wizards

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/drayblatche/status/151502873858015233"]

What’s worst: losing to the Nets, at home, after going up 21 in the second quarter… turning the ball over down 5 with 17 seconds left and completely forgetting to foul… or complaining about your touches after the first game of the season? I’ll give you a hint: none of them is the worst, because the Wizards are the worst. Come back, Jan Vesely. -NS

Lion Face: Spencer Hawes

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr_VrD2SYoE]

When Spencer “Rondo” Hawes took the court on Monday night, we all knew what to expect: A severe triple-double threat, a true offensive threat. Wait a second, that totally wasn’t what we expected. But somehow, that’s what we got. Though he fell short one assist of triple-double, I’m sure this is only a sign of things to come. Spencer Hawes: Dynamic Scorer, Passer, and Rebounder. -CH

Lemon Face: Lamar Odom

Lamar wins the questionable pleasure of a second straight Lemon Face, and boy, is he earning them. Two games in, Odom is averaging an ejection for every 2 made field goals, is sporting a negative PER, and worse of all, he still isn’t Tyson Chandler. Pretty much the only positive thing one can say about him is that by coming off the bench, he’s still eligible for 6th man of the year. -NS

Lion Face: Ricky Rubio

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASHOw57N3Q&feature=youtu.be]

Ricky Rubio can’t play in the pros. Never mind the way he sees things that nobody else sees, and then he feeds those things with a no-look bounce pass. Never mind the way every single second with him on the court is an adventure, how the crowd is on its toes for the entire duration of his stay. Never mind that dreamy face. Nope. Ricky Rubio can’t play in the pros. -NS

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Vik1wQ7eI&list=UUqeOiTn8d4rrMygdy6YoEWw&index=1&feature=plcp]

Lemon Face: Michael Beasley

Michael Beasley didn’t play his worst game. Sure, 24 points on 27 shots is bad by most measures, but he wasn’t a complete hinderance to the ‘Wolves. At times, he even contributed admirably. But damaging the flow of a now beautiful, Rubio-led offense is not easily forgiven. Don’t shoot those odd fade-aways with two guys on you, Beasley. Rubio is here, and he’s determined to get you a better shot than that. -CH

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uni6MhgaDzs]

Lion Face: Roy Hibbert

This is the Hibbert we saw to start last season, and the Hibbert whose absence we lamented once January came along. 16 points, 14 boards and 3 blocks. Swift decisions, a soft touch, a defensive presence. He even scored on the pick-and-roll! All we can do is hope we get to keep watching this guy, because a good Hibbert transcends international borders and languages. -NS

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk_6jA0N77w&feature=related]

Lemon Face: Stephen Jackson

I imagined it would be a glorious, Stephen Jackson-y return when the Bucks came to Charlotte for their first game of the season. The notorious Captain Jack was returning to the team that traded him, and I expected to see a virtuoso performance from the Captain upon his return. Instead, we got an oddly unenthused, out-of-sync performance from Jackson, a 1-5 shooting effort in 17 minutes that left me asking when the Stephen Jackson I expected would check into the game. -CH

Lion Face: Kyle Lowry

This is Kyle Lowry’s year. I can feel it in the basketball winds all around me. By March, maybe we won’t be so surprised when he plays so well and keeps his offense afloat. But for now, 20 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds from the esteemed Mr. Lowry is a reason to be excited. Get excited, everyone. Kyle Lowry is back to being a great basketball player. -CH

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exzZVkmogzg caption={That's so Lowry}]

Lemon Face: The Detroit Pistons’ Offense

So far, the Pistons have the lowest single-game scoring total in the NBA. Sure, pace adjustments rank them slightly above the Grizzlies, but second-to-last is not exactly an achievement to be proud of. When the only player on your team to shoot above 50% is Jonas Jerebko (love ya, Jonas) and your roster has such offensive luminaries as Greg Monroe and.. uhm… more Greg Monroe, something is very very wrong. -NS

Lion Face: Boris Diaw 

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KkrccHEAqg]

For all the talk of Boris Diaw’s seemingly endless weight gains and famous nonchalance, he can still play well when he finds a rhythm. And on Monday, Diaw found that rhythm. A near triple double (9 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists) is one thing, but serving as the de-facto point center(?) and essentially running the offense for large periods of time is another. Carmelo Anthony who? This is Boris Diaw’s game. -CH

Lemon Face: Antawn Jamison

We’re not sure when this happened, but some time along the way, Antawn Jamison turned into the worst. And it hurts quite a bit. Just like you don’t want your role model father to be caught for tax fraud, so does it pain us to watch the “consummate professional” slack on defense and chuck his way towards 6 for 20 nights. Soneone should get this guy to a contender – not because he “deserves” it, as was the case when Cleveland salvaged him from Washington, but because watching him in the lottery stains what’s still left of our good will. -NS

NBA TRADE DEADLINE: Nowhere to Go But Down

Donnie Walsh strolled into the Big Apple the man with a plan. He signed a few role players, picked up a big-time coach, drafted well, and…traded every first rounder the Knicks have between now a 2084, their lottery pick from last year in the infancy of his career, and their best defensive player for cap savings.

And you know what? Aside from the truly ridiculous surrender of first round picks, this is exactly what he was supposed to do.

I’m not saying I agree with Walsh’s plan of attack, because I’ve never thought the super-secret plan of luring LeBron to NYC would do anything aside from motivate the Cavaliers to keep him. James may love fame as much as he loves basketball, but he’s smart enough to know that his legacy rests in making the right choices in situations like these and grabbing as many rings as is humanly possible. That’s not something he’s going to get by moving to New York, regardless of how impressive David Lee has been this season, how much cap space their stocking, how nice of a player Danilo Gallinari has become, or how well Wilson Chandler or Toney Douglas could play alongside him. Every day brings LeBron closer and closer to re-signing with the Cavs, as Danny Ferry’s countless moves made to accommodate James and the team’s slow, but sure climb into the East’s elite give LeBron the whole package. He can win the championship, be a legend, and still be the hometown hero.

But our good friend Donnie? He has to make a run at LeBron. Just like he has to make a run at Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Walsh’s cards have been face-up from the very beginning, and though his transparency with the Knicks’ fan base has been admirable (and what they deserve after all they’ve been through), this is the price that he has to pay. Telling everyone your master plan can paint you as a genius and buy you some time, but the same information that has created FREE AGENT FEVER 2010 in New York has given the upper hand to anyone sitting opposite Walsh at the negotiating table. We all know that the Knicks can’t go into the summer with anything less than prodigious cap space, and Daryl Morey knew that he was Walsh’s last legitimate shot at pulling it off.

But most of that we already knew. We knew that Walsh would have to sacrifice to be a major player this summer, we just didn’t know how much he would have to sacrifice. And so while the Knicks may be the deadline’s biggest losers on paper, all they’ve done is exactly what Walsh said they would do when he took over: put together a few young pieces, get rid of long-term contracts, and hope and pray that the market, the coach, and the promise of the roster is enough to lure a big-name star or two. Whether they’ll be able to do that or not remains to be seen, but can we really blame Donnie Walsh for doing what he pretty much had to do at this point? We knew the trade deadline was endgame, and that all movable 2010 salary had to go.

Make absolutely no mistake: Daryl Morey runs this game. The Rockets made a killing, and though they had to part with Carl Landry, they’ll ultimately be a better team because of this deal. Even the Kings managed to clear cap while acquiring some real talent…and they didn’t have to give up multiple first round picks. But Donnie Walsh is being grilled today for yesterday’s sins, and though many have found fault with his 2010 scheming, this part of the deal had somehow flown under the radar. You have to give a little to get a little — or in this case, you have to give a lot to hopefully get a lot.

TRADE DEADLINE: Where Donnie Walsh Being Possessed By Isiah Thomas Happens

The Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks have agreed to terms that will expand the Houston-Sacramento deal into a three-way trade that lands Tracy McGrady with the Knicks, according to NBA front-office sources.

The Knicks will acquire McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez from Sacramento, sources said.

The Rockets get Kevin Martin, Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries from New York and will have the right to swap first-round picks with New York in 2011 as well as take on New York’s 2012 first-round pick.

Sacramento obtains Houston’s Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey and New York’s Larry Hughes.

via Tracy McGrady traded to New York Knicks in 3-team deal, sources say – ESPN.

Let’s just be clear in what just happened here.

The Knicks gave up:

  • Jared Jeffries, a versatile defender that’s actually played really well this year.
  • Jordan Hill, who has developed really well, has killer upside, and is a legit scoring big, which they’re going to need once Harrington and Lee are gone in six months.
  • The expiring corpse of Larry Hughes
  • Their control for their first round pick in 2011 NOT to be swapped to a perennial playoff team that just acquired cap space and Kevin Martin.
  • Their 2012 first round pick, meaning they could not be picking in the top 15 for the next 3 YEARS.

And in return, they got:

  • An over-30 forward who has had injury problems every year for the past five years, and his expiring contract which will end up saving them a grand total of $9 million dollars.

THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!

Seriously? This just happened?

What on EARTH are they going to offer LeBron/Wade/Bosh/Amar’e this summer? “Hey, come on by! You get to play with Sergio Rodriguez! Eddie House is in the corner, smokin’ a pipe! Chill out! Galinari’s going to make his famous pesto chicken!”

THIS is the master plan? To leverage any hope of the future to try and buy your way out of purgatory? This isn’t Mario Bros. You can’t just skip a level, I don’t care how much money you have or what market you play in.

This is an abject disaster.

The Kings’ side of this gets better and better. They just cleared out enough space to build a new kitchen downstairs AND remodel Chrissy’s room with that walk-in closet she’s always wanted. They managed to hold on to Kenny Thomas (woof), so they save that money and pick up Hughes’ expiring as well. And they get Carl Landry, who’s going to annihilated people on the pick and roll with Evans.  Having Hughes around for six months is a shame, but what else is new? And he wasn’t playing badly in New York for the first few months.

Daryl Morey runs the game. That’s it. I’m having T-shirts printed that say “Daryl Morey Runs The Game.” He just spun the guy who he told to go hang out in Chicago instead of playing for Jordan Hill, Kevin Martin and two first round pick advantages. This is sick. This is a disgusting trade for the Rockets. They get Hill to develop like they did Landry, they get Kevin Martin to pair with Brooks and Ariza, they get youth in the future and they still have Yao Ming and saved money. Seriously. I’m pretty sure Morey is an alien with advanced technology. This is absurd.

Okay, I’m going to go lie down and try and figure all this out.


WHAT DO YOU MEAN TYRUS THOMAS IS A BOBCAT?!

/passes out

TRADE DEADLINE: The Night The Whole Damn World Went Mad

(DEEP BREATH FOR AIR)

Okay.

Gah, where to start. Uh…

(SLAMS COFFEE)

(SLAMS REDBULL)

Okay.

Uh…CLEVELAND!

TRADE BREAKDOWNS AFTER THE JUMP.

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Podcast Paroxysm: Patella Cake

In this bonus episode, Zach Harper swings by to talk all manner of things, including if the Jazz are legit, which Gasol brother is better, how awesome Durantula is, and of course, patella cake. NSFW.

Featuring music by Gordon Lightfoot (“Old Dan’s Records”) and The Butthole Surfers (“Pepper)”

Oh, and check us on iTunes, sweetheart. You’ll never love anyone like you love us.

Download it here.

If You Have A Machine Gun And A Pistol, You Have Two Guns, But It’s Hard To Fire At The Same Time (Non-Arenas Related)

I think that Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin playing together is not the issue with the Kings problem during this bad stretch. Sure, the Kings are 0-3 since Martin came back but their team problems existed way before this. The Kings haven’t been great during the last month. Their inside presence has been nonexistent. They’re relying way too much on perimeter scoring and adding Kevin Martin to the team doesn’t negatively affect this team at all.

If anything, the problem isn’t with Martin’s reinsertion causing issues with Evans’ role. The two of them are fine together. The problem is that the rest of the team isn’t stepping up to join the party. The Kings need to force the issue with getting Kevin Martin comfortable again. Once he is back in his usual Kevin Martin scoring groove, the Kings can then start working on him deferring to Tyreke Evans, which I’m sure he’ll be happy to do. He’s not a number one guy and I don’t think he’d argue with that. Everybody knows Tyreke Evans is the future of this franchise and Kevin Martin fits in perfectly with his style of play. Martin doesn’t have your usual scoring ego that we’re used to seeing.

via Cowbell Kingdom.com – A Sacramento Kings Blog.

I saw pieces of the Kings before Martin went down, a lot when he was out, and only scraps and tidbits since Martin came back. So I’m going to defer to Harper and Ziller, for the time being. I’m fine with patience. Here’s why I have concerns, and have had them since Reke showed up as an alpha dog.

Part of is because I can’t buy into Martin as the go-to guy. If I were a Kings fan? I’d be sold. And I’ve seen the guy do things that cause jaw drops and lots of “Wows.” Yet, even though he’s listed at 6-7, I’ve always felt like Martin was small. I know this to not be the case, but it’s a prime example of why we need to look at facts. Or it’s a prime example of how I need to go see the eye doctor. There are players that play big and are small, and players that are small and play big. That’s a pretty “your-crappy-weekend-columnist” line, but I’m more talking about frame and feel, not heart and determination. And for scorers, I tend to go for the guys with some junk, not in the trunk, really, but up on the front fenders. And Evans? Dude sometimes looks like he’s got Road Warriors shoulder pads on, and he’s a rookie.

I’m also a believer in eye tests, when things get really convoluted. When you’re brought with something really simple in this league, like “Dwight Howard does not make enough of an impact on the offensive end,” I immediately start looking at what’s actually going on. (If you’re curious, it’s “the Magic somehow started to believe that the only way they could win was how they won in the playoffs, by shooting the lights out from the perimeter, but completely forgot that what created their rhythm was their inside-out game, dependent on Dwight getting touches”) But if something gets really complex and confusing, I try and take a step back and give it a simple look over.

Not to get too far off track, but the Kobe Bryant clutch issue is much the same. I’ve long held that Bryant wasn’t that good in the clutch. Everyone talked about it, so I checked the numbers two years ago when I found 82games.com, and my suspicions were largely confirmed. And this year it’s a popular debate. “Man, he’s so clutch!” versus “Well, actually, the numbers say not so much.” And the answer, I’ve come to understand, lies in the middle. Because even with observation bias, I can’t deny that I’ve seen Bryant hit a ton of game winners this year. The secret is that Bryant gets the ball a lot in key situations, and he misses some. But he almost never misses “the game winner.” And while there’s truth to the fact that if he does, we don’t remember it, it doesn’t alter all the other ones he hits.

The point, to bring this back round, is that an eye check of Martin and Evans’ skills, games, and bodies creates concern. Martin wants to be a go-to guy, a leader, the alpha. Evans is the alpha. He creates for his teammates (which everyone completely ignores when trying the asinine “he’s not a point guard!” argument- an argument that’s based solely on “what? he scores a lot? NOT A POINT!”), he gets to the rim, he hits big shots consistently, and he leads comebacks. He can take a game over, just as Martin can. But a difference this year has been his success in converting those take-overs into wins.

Additionally, I don’t see how you can’t look at what Evans has accomplished with the rest of this team (Casspi deserves a huge amount of the credit as well), and not think about “What if we ditch Martin for a boatload?” Martin would draw a ton of offers on the open market. He’s an elite scorer at the two-guard spot, and those are hard to come by. The Kings could pillage a desperate team for picks and young pieces, maybe snag a big.  Throw Kevin Martin in the water and just see what bites.

But then, of course, I return to Ziller and Harper. And I see what Presti has done with OKC simply by not doing anything. Perhaps it’s best to know what you do or do not have or before attempting to trade gold for silver.