James Harden’s Stand-In Is Ditching OKC For The Timberwolves

It's official. In the battle of NBA general managers Daryl Morey K.O.'d Sam Presti. Less than a year after the Thunder traded emerging star James Harden for a group that included Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and a few late first round picks. The hope was that Martin would become a fill-in for Harden and the Thunder would continue ruling the West for years to come. Instead, Serge Ibaka hit a wall in his development and now Martin has skipped town after one season in Oklahoma City. Worst of all, he didn't even spurn the Thunder for a better team, a warm weather city or an outrageous contract. He's actually making less than Tiago Splitter.

Instead, Martin signed a respectable four-year $28 million dollar deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night reuniting him with his former Sacramento Kings coach, Rick Adelman. While Oklahoma City continues to reel, Harden's blossomed into the second-best shooting guard in the West and Morey is using Harden's emergence to woo Dwight Howard to the Bayou City.