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Paying Kevin Martin

A few weeks ago, I thought a lot about Kevin Martin's possible contract extension. Here's the conclusion I drew:

But how much is too much? Josh Howard got a four-year, $40 million extension last summer. I thought that was a fantastic deal for Dallas -- and I think Howard and Martin are comparable in team impact (though they do it in vastly different ways). Of course, I'd love to see a full five-year extension for Martin, so that would tease out to five years, $52 million. Since I think Howard's deal was so good, I should be happy with a slightly larger deal for Martin, right? So I think five years, $56 million would be the 'good taste in my mouth' cut-off.

Today, we learned the Kings have reportedly offered Martin $55 million over five years. That's within 'good-taste-in-my-mouth' status. But it's close.

If this were Martin's request, I'd be ecstatic. But it's not. And pen hasn't been put to paper. Which means Martin's agent Jason Levien could ask for more. Which means the pricetag could go up.

Let's hope it doesn't go up too much. Not because Martin doesn't deserve it -- no one works harder, few young guys are such dynamic scorers. But as I think we've learned, tying up too much salary in a few players in anathema to success. This is a bigger contract than Manu Ginobili. Bigger than Leandro Barbosa. Again -- Martin deserves it. But it could get dangerous. It takes more than one star to win a ring.

Kevin will turn 30 years old the year this hypothetical contract expires, and the penultimate salary (assuming standard payscale -- nothing front-loaded or anything) would be around $13 million. Barring an Allen Houstonesque injury, Martin would have a very manageable contract. The salary cap should be up past $60 million by then. All the (current) bad contracts will be long gone. Spencer Hawes will be 25. Who knows what the rest of the team will look like. I'm not going to lose sleep over a slightly inflated deal for Martin that far in the future.

The fact that Geoff Petrie seems very, very serious about keeping Kevin Martin is great news for us. I'm guilty of getting caught up in the numbers of these deals... but this is one we should just grin and bear. Go Kings.