As the rumors surrounding a potential Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves continue to heat up, other potential pieces in the deal have begun to materialize. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweeted on Tuesday, “Minnesota’s been determined to unload Kevin Martin and JJ Barea in a Love deal — no easy task for Cavs to make work without a third team.”
With Minnesota looking to unload the contracts of Martin and Barea in the process of any deal involving Love, the Cavaliers would likely have to get a third team involved in order to make the deal happen. Martin’s contract is for $6.7 million this year and two more seasons just north of $7 million per year, while Barea’s deal is for $4.5 million this coming season only. Add in Love’s $15.7 million this season, and the three players are right around $27 million in outgoing salaries.
While Martin is a nice player, the length of his contract would likely not be attractive to a third team involved in the deal—meaning he would probably wind up in Cleveland. And that could be a blessing in disguise for the Cavaliers.
At 31-years old, the product from Zanesville has plenty of experience throughout his career both starting and coming off the bench at the shooting guard position. A proven scorer, Martin averages 17.9 points on 44.2 percent shooting for his career—not to mention a pretty good 38.5 percent from three-point land.
Though the majority of his recent experience has come as a starter, he spent the entire 2012-2013 season coming off the bench to the tune of 27.7 minutes per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In that season, he shot 45 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from three-point land and averaged 14 points per game. Though under his career scoring average per game, he was a more efficient shooter in around 3.2 less minutes per game playing with Kevin Durant and the rest of the Thunder cast.
If Martin is included in the deal, he would further solidify the Cavaliers bench at shooting guard behind presumed—if Wiggins is dealt—starter, Dion Waiters. His experience as a starter (455 games in his career), could also give the Cavaliers the flexibility to start him at shooting guard and have Waiters come off the bench.
Take that in for a second.
Not only would the Cavaliers acquire Love, they could possibly add Martin to the mix as well. The starting lineup could potentially be Kyrie Irving, Martin, LeBron James, Love and Anderson Varejao with Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Mike Miller and James Jones and others coming off the bench. For those worried about having depth, this deal would pretty much answer all concerns for the Cavaliers at this point in time.
Obviously Love is the main target in all of this, but adding Martin in this deal would nothing to forget about. Martin is a player who can produce in more ways than one, and would bring an instant boost to a young Cavaliers roster in need of veteran scoring and leadership in both the starting lineup and coming off the bench.