The Timberwolves have made Kevin Martin available in discussions about potential trades, a source told Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Minnesota wants to find more time for younger perimeter players Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, according to Krawczynski. The potential that LaVine has shown to become a scorer and the increased amount of time Wiggins is seeing at shooting guard, plus the eight losses in nine games that the team has suffered, have helped prompt GM Milt Newton and company to put the 32-year-old Martin on the block and focus on Wiggins, LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad, Krawczynski explains.
Minnesota spoke with two teams about Martin early this season but was reluctant to move him amid a promising 8-8 start, Krawczynski writes. He began the season on the bench but the team made him a starter in late November to help him break out of a shooting slump, according to Krawczynski. The 12th-year veteran is nailing only 36.7% of his field goal attempts, a career low. Martin didn’t play in the team’s loss to the Knicks because of a sprained right (shooting) wrist, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, and he’s questionable for Friday’s game against the Kings.
Martin was a part of trade talk last winter, when a series of reports identified the Mavericks, Wizards, Bulls, Kings and Rockets as interested parties, though late Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders didn’t appear willing to trade him or work a buyout. The Mavs, who signed Wesley Matthews in the offseason, were no longer interested as of October, according to a report at that time from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, and it’s unclear if any of the other teams linked to him almost a year ago are still eyeing him.
Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca speculates the Raptors might have interest, citing Martin’s track record as a scorer and an asset to team chemistry as well as his relationship with a few of Toronto’s players, though he suggests his contract could be a stumbling block (Twitter links). Martin is making $7.085MM this season with a player option for nearly $7.378MM next year.
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