By: Dan Cole | KFAN.com
Last season, Kevin Martin recorded his least productive season since 2005-06 -- his second season in the league with the Sacramento Kings.
He started zero games for Oklahoma City last year, finishing the season with his lowest averages in minutes, rebounds, assists and points per game since he was a second-year shooting guard playing under a certain coach Rick Adelman in Sacramento.
This summer, the once-great Martin became a free agent for the first time in his career, following a season in which he played a tertiary role to Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. When contemplating destinations for this season, Martin put Minnesota at the top of his list right from the start, largely because of who's in charge.
"With Flip [Saunders] taking the job and Rick being there, they are two great basketball minds," Martin said. He was coached by Adelman for his first two years in the league and attributes much of the player he is today to Adelman. "When other teams gave their pitch and Minnesota made theirs, it was kind of an easy decision."
Martin said he considered going back to Oklahoma City many times, but feels like he's found a similar situation in Minnesota – a younger team that's had some injuries but can accomplish great things if people stay healthy.
He learned a lot from his time in OKC – particularly from playing behind Durant and Westbrook – and is ready to bring that knowledge into Minnesota along with an increased role much like he saw earlier on in his career.
"Last year, I played as a third guy behind Kevin and Russ, which I loved because I feel like I got a year off from taking on that type of game," Martin said. "Now I feel like I'm ready to go back to that role where I can pick up a little bit more on the offensive end. Right now I feel great and I'm excited to get back into the system and I'm excited to play with such a good team and help get them back to the playoffs."
Martin has averaged upwards of 20 points per game five times in his career, but hasn't done so since the 2010-11 season with Houston.
This offseason, Martin is spending his time working with his personal trainer in Tampa, Fla., along with new teammate Corey Brewer, who Martin helped bring to Minnesota by throwing in some recruiting of his own.
"When we had a chance to get him I was willing to do whatever I needed to make that happen," Martin said, adding that Brewer was a perfect fit to play alongside him. "He's 6-9, he has length and he’s a defensive minded player. He does anything to win. You love to play with guys like that."