Martin's extension with Kings worth more than $50M
Martin signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday reportedly worth more than $50 million after he averaged a career-high and team-leading 20.2 points, including 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.23 steals-per-game during the Kings 2006-07 season. The 26th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Western Carolina also shot 38.1 percent from the 3-point line and 84.4 percent from the free-throw line.
At a news conference held in downtown Sacramento, Martin thanked his family, agent and the Kings organization for drafting, at the time, an unknown 6-foot-8, 172-pound athlete from a remote university.
"I really want to thank Geoff Petrie and an organization for taking a chance on a skinny kid from a small school," Martin said.
Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, said Martin's performance last season is only a prelude to greater success. Off the court, Petrie and the Kings likes Martin's commitment to the Sacramento community.
"I'm really delighted that we could complete this extension," Petrie said. "If anybody has watched Kevin play in the past year and a half has recognized that he's one of the exciting young players in the league. He's not just a big part of the present, but a large part of the future."
First-year coach Reggie Theus said Martin deserves every penny he has earned due to his work ethic.
"The fact is he's been working out very hard every day," Theus said. "Obviously, he's a rising star and such a great example for the rest of the guys on the team. I'm glad to be coaching him and shooting him out for his lunch money every now and then."
Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof said signing Martin was one of the team's priorities at the end of last season.
Some reports say that Martin's five-year deal is closer to $55 million. "We don't ever discuss the specifics of contracts," Petrie said. "But it's certainly a significant contract and one that Kevin, Jason, and I are very happy about."
Martin, who averaged 23.3 points in three seasons with Western Carolina, has averaged 12.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in the NBA. The shooting guard has started 121 out of 197 career games.
Martin said he is excited about getting the Kings back on track.
"I never been a guy motivated by money," Martin said. "But now I have an opportunity, along with my teammates, to bring Sacramento basketball back to its winning ways and to compete for a championship very soon."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press