Martin scoring in latest opportunity with Timberwolves
President of basketball operations Gersson Rosas has a vision for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rosas made it clear at the 2020 trade deadline that drastic changes needed to happen, as he completed multiple deals to usher in a new era of Wolves basketball. Suddenly, the Timberwolves are bursting with intriguing young talent that surrounds an All-Star duo in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
Each Thursday, we’ll be tracking the progress of these young players while also keeping up with the G League Iowa Wolves to see who will rise to the challenge of bringing a consistent, winning team to Minnesota.
This is the 15th edition of the 2019-20 Young Wolves Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Guard Kelan Martin
In case you weren’t sure, Martin knows how to score.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard averaged 15.1 points over his four years at Butler, including 21.2 his senior season. After going undrafted, he poured in 14 points per game playing in Germany then back in the states with Minnesota’s summer league squad this past offseason he averaged 23.5 points.
On a two-way contract with the Wolves, Martin has averaged 18.4 points while playing for Iowa of the G League. However, he’s actually played more games with Minnesota (26) than Iowa (23).
Those NBA games have come in spurts. Seven games between Nov. 15-27. Eight games from Dec. 23-Jan. 7. A five-game run – with a start – from Jan. 27-Feb. 8. In those 21 combined games, he averaged 6.2 points and hit double figures four times.
Then came last week.
Martin played in all four Wolves games and averaged 11.8 points in just 19.9 minutes of action. On Sunday at Denver he led Minnesota with a season-high 21 points. He followed that up with back-to-back 11-point games at Dallas and Miami, making 8 of 14 shots over those two games.
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) February 23, 2020
In those four games, Martin was 12-for-12 on free-throw attempts. That makes him 24-for-24 from the line this season. Of all NBA players who have yet to miss a free-throw attempt, Martin has the most makes – 24. Only three others are even in double figures – Detroit’s Tony Snell (22), Golden State’s Steph Curry (18) and Dallas’ J.J. Berea (16).
In addition, Martin finished the week with a composite box score +/- of plus-1.3, further demonstrating that when he’s on the court good things happen.
Like fellow backcourt mate Jordan McLaughlin, Martin is getting a chance to show what he can do. Of course, being on a two-way contract gives him limited life in Minnesota – or at least a deadline.
At some point the Timberwolves are going to have to decide what they’re going to do with Martin (let the two-way expire, sign him to a full contract, etc.). Consider Martin’s resume padded.
— D’Angelo Russell hit seven 3-pointers in Minnesota’s win over Miami on Wednesday. It was the 20th time in franchise history someone has made 7+ 3s in a game – three of those occurring this season (also: Andrew Wiggins on Jan 27 and Malik Beasley on Feb. 8). The Wolves’ record, by the way, is eight by Stephon Marbury (Dec. 23, 1997) and Kevin Love (Dec. 13, 2013).
— We tackled Beasley’s bigger role with the Wolves earlier this week, but in four games last week he had four, two, five and three 3-point makes. Beasley now has four games with 4+ made 3s in a game (in his seven overall games with Minnesota). He had two such occurrences in 41 games with Denver.
— Juan Hernangomez made 8 of 13 3-point attempts last week and is shooting 48.3% from deep in his seven games with the Wolves. He has 14 makes for Minnesota – he had 15 (in 60 attempts) with Denver.
— The above-mentioned McLaughlin has played in every game for Minnesota since Jan. 17. Last week he averaged 11.0 points and 4.8 assists while making 56.0% of his shots, including 8 of 11 from 3.
— Josh Okogie made 52.4% of his shots last week and has a 54.1% field-goal percentage over his last nine games.