I do a webcast every Tuesday, and from time-to-time I have on Eric in Madison of Canis Hoopus to talk about recent or upcoming events involving the Minnesota Timberwolves. On Tuesday, I was shocked to hear the news that Kevin Martin was due to sign with the Timberwolves on a four-year, $28 million deal. I then contacted Eric about asking him a few questions about KMart. The interview has been concluded and here are the results of the Q&A.
Q1: What will Kevin Martin's role be with the T'Wolves?
A1: Martin will be the Wolves starting shooting guard. There really aren't any other options, and the Wolves have long needed a full-sized two guard who can score. I'm hopeful that [Rick] Adelman limits his minutes to 30-32 a night, since he's had injury problems in the past.
Q2: With Martin being a sixth man of the year candidate this past season, how will starting change his game?
A2: I think he'll go back to being a top option offensively with the Wolves. He'll get a lot of catch-and-shoot opportunities from [Ricky] Rubio, and off pick and rolls between Rubio, [Kevin] Love or [Nikola] Pekovic. He should also get opportunities on the ball to produce shots/drives to the basket. Love is the Wolves best scorer, but Martin is going to be [a second option], along with Pekovic in the post.
Q3: How will Martin help improve the game of SGs Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved?
A3: Well, they are why we needed Martin. Ridnour isn't a [natural] shooting guard, but was forced to play there most of the past two years for want of a better option. He's a back up point guard at this point in his career. He's been durable, and absolutely did his best, but is physically overmatched at the two. He's probably the prime candidate of all Wolves players to be traded this summer. Shved is more of a combo; in fact his best role might be as Rubio's backup, depending on how the roster sorts out. He can absolutely learn how and when to get his shots from Martin, as well as how to be strong while looking so damn thin, which is something that has always impressed me about Martin.
Q4: Overall, what's the main reason for the signing of Martin?
A4: Needed a real two guard. Absolutely priority number one. Wolves looked into a bunch of guys, including J.J. Redick and O.J. Mayo, but wound up coming to an agreement with Martin, who has always been a personal favorite of mine since his Sacramento days. The Wolves needed wing scoring desperately, the number one thing Martin brings. They were the worst 3 point shooting team in the league last year (though Love and [Chase] Budinger missing most of the year had a lot to do with that).
Q5: Personally, what's your favorite part of Kevin Martin's game? Least favorite?
A5: Love the combination of good three point shooting and getting to the line. He was 10th in the league in 3P% last season, which is awesome for a guard, and has been consistently efficient his whole career. Least favorite is his poor defense. Of course, if he were a great defender too, he'd be a maximum salary all-NBA player.
Thanks again to Eric in Madison for being available and making this happen.