It looks like Kevin Martin won’t be returning to the Thunder next season.
Martin, a free agent, who the Thunder got in the trade with Houston for James Harden just days before the beginning of last season, told USA Today he’s not against returning to Oklahoma City, but said he wants to be a starter again.
The free agency period begins July 1.
The 30-year-old played just one season for the Thunder. He is considered one of the top unrestricted free agent guards and is said to be drawing interest from Minnesota, New Orleans, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee and others, according to USA Today.
Oklahoma City could offer Martin a max-contract, but since the Thunder didn’t do that for Harden, chances are they wouldn’t go over the salary cap to sign Martin who made more than $12.9 million last season.
“Both sides have positions and I think we’ll face them in the upcoming week,” Martin told USA Today.
Martin came off the bench for the first time in his nine-year career and averaged 14 points on 45 percent shooting as the Thunder went 60-22 and earned the top seed in the Western Conference.
“I feel like there was no one better in the league who could have been more efficient playing that role with Kevin (Durant) and Russ (Westbrook),” Martin said to USA Today. “I actually enjoyed it, and I’m always open to an opportunity to return there.”
If the Thunder don’t re-sign Martin, it could mean more time for Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones. Lamb was acquired from Houston in the same trade and Jones was a rookie. Neither played any real accountable minutes. The Thunder have Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson at guard as well.
Milwaukee guard Monta Ellis, J.R. Smith of New York, Tyreke Evans of Sacramento and Manu Ginobili are considered the top available free agents.