It's been a year and a half since I wrote this, but boy, it seems longer. (Side note: Good thing we didn't trade for Carmelo Anthony, huh?)
It's time for the Houston Rockets and Kevin Martin to part ways. Or maybe it's finally time for me to accept the idea, and perhaps it needed to happen before this season ever began, right about when Daryl Morey thought he had successfully sold high on his once-coveted statistical dream.
Make no mistake: Kevin Martin, despite our many qualms about his defense, played outside of his mind last season. His offensive efficiency was through the roof — i.e. 24 points per game on 16 shots — and he ranked fourth among NBA shooting guards in APER. You could make one case for trading him entering this season, and it was that Houston could probably receive a good return given the crumbling state of the NBA shooting guard. The Rockets got their return, but then, yeah.
Morey probably entered this season hoping Martin wouldn't tail off, but that's exactly what Speed Racer has done. He's lost his mojo. And now it looks as if he's no longer even looking for his mojo. His mojo is out there, somewhere in the distance, waiting for Kevin Martin to find it, but it looks as if it may never be discovered. And that's a shame.
Martin is better than what he's shown this year. He's much better. He's not a fourth-quarter benchwarmer and he's not a disappearing act. He wasn't perfect on his best days, but goodness, he has finally slipped to some sort of low point that has frankly pissed a lot of people off. We've now gone from the point of making a change for the better to making a change out of need.
That said, Martin's value has never been lower. He's not too expensive, but at around $12 million a year, he's not exactly cheap either. I wish there was some sort of plausible deal out there for the Rockets to receive good value for him, but I can't see any team willing to part with a worthwhile package to make a Martin trade anything more than a glorified salary dump. Maybe that's the pessimist and annoyed fan in me talking, but that's how it seems.
So, what do you think? Is KevMart on his way out? Can the Rockets trade him?