Tuesday , Aug , 28 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Sacramento Kings Wise To Re-sign Kevin Martin, Must Figure Out Ron Artest & Mike Bibby’s Future

So it was smart to lock Martin up before his rookie contract would expire next summer and he had an opportunity to test the free agent waters. But Martin, for all his talent and potential, will underachieve if the Kings don’t get some direction and provide him with a solid supporting cast …

The Sacramento Bee reports on the Kings inking Kevin Martin to contract extension:

Martin, whose breakout 2006-07 season will vault him into the upper pay ranks of NBA shooting guards, unexpectedly flew in from his training hub at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., and arrived in Sacramento on Monday in anticipation of signing his new contract. A news conference is expected this week to announce the deal.

The Kings had until Oct. 31 to finalize an extension or allow him to become a free agent next offseason, but discussions between Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie and Martin’s agent, Jason Levien, began in early August.

My Quick Take: K-Mart is no longer a discount. The sale is finished, replaced by a big ticket price tag. Sometime this week, Sacramento will officially sign Kevin Martin to a five year, 55 million dollar contract.

Make no mistake about it, the two-guard is the featured player in the Kings’ rebuilding efforts. He can score. He shoots a high percentage. He’s athletic. And he possesses a great attitude.

So it was smart to lock Martin up before his rookie contract would expire next summer and he had an opportunity to test the free agent waters. But Martin, for all his talent and potential, will underachieve if the Kings don’t get some direction and provide him with a solid supporting cast.

Bottom line: Sacramento must decide whether to keep or trade Ron Artest and Mike Bibby. Artest is talented, but unreliable. And Bibby can dominate, but seems unhappy.

Personally, I believe the Kings must trade both players in order to rebuild. This is more about circumstances than a slight against Artest and Bibby. Starting over is better than sticking with a stale line-up that can only win 30 games.

Signing Martin was the easy part. Now Sacramento must figure out what to do with Artest and Bibby.

Should Sacramento trade or keep Artest or Bibby? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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