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According to media reports, the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed free-agent swingman Kevin Martin and retained Chase Budinger.
Martin, who would be acquired from Houston for James Harden, averaged 14.0 points for the Thunder and shot 42.6 percent from three-point range, agreed to a four-year $30 million deal.
In Minnesota, Martin will have a chance to become a starter due to the Wolves lack of size at shooting guard.
Budinger, a key bench reserve for Minnesota, agreed to a three-year, $16 million deal. The former Arizona Wildcat standout averaged 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 23 games for the T-Wolves.
In signing both Martin and keeping Budinger, it seems that Minnesota is looking to add size on the wing and quality shooters, as well as appease All-Star power forward Kevin Love, that they are committed to bringing in quality complimentary pieces.
The Wolves signing of Martin in addition to OKC’s questionable trade of Harden, makes the Thunder look incompetent, as they clearly missed Harden’s shooting—and production of the bench—in the playoffs, as Martin proverbially flopped when the Thunder needed him the most.
During the playoffs, Martin averaged 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting 38 percent from the field. Harden averaged 26.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists during the 2012-13 Rockets post-season run.
Clearly, Houston got the better end of the Harden-Martin deal, and with Martin now in Minnesota, OKC must now scramble to find a replacement for Martin as well.
Whether or not the signings of Martin and Budinger will pan out remain to be seen, but if Minnesota hopes to contend in the top-heavy Western Conference, they had better hope they get their money’s worth.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber