If 23.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game aren't the numbers of an All-Star, then what are?
If a .456 shooting percentage, including .402 from behind the arc, and an efficiency rating that ranks 12th among all guards (ahead of Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Michael Redd, Brandon Roy, and Chauncey Billups) isn't enough to identify a budding star, what is?
If the fact that all this is happening for a player at the tender age of 25 – with the pressures of an entire franchise on him – isn't enough to recognize him as one of the game's top talents, nothing is.
As frustrating as it may be for critics who feel Kevin Martin should be getting that kind of acknowledgment, all this talk falls on deaf ears for Martin.
With a 5-year, $55-million contract extension kicking in next season, the expectations for Martin are inevitably going to be high. But he brushed aside any notion that his work ethic would diminish now that the deal is done.
"I just love playing the game of basketball," Martin told HOOPSWORLD this week. "I think you just earn more respect by working hard and going out there and playing well despite what kind of contract you have. That's the thing the best players in the league do, work hard during the summer."
Martin has already started doing that, beginning his summer workouts with David Thorpe at the Pro Training Center of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
After what amounted to a disappointing year in Sacramento, Martin is intent upon improving and bringing the franchise back to the playoff standard of the earlier 2000s. "We keep improving every year," he said. "We have a great thing going in Sac right now. We got a new coach and guys are dedicated."
Injuries were a main cause of concern for the Kings this season, as Martin, Ron Artest, Kenny Thomas, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim all missed significant chunks of games.
But things are improving, as a solid group of players returns next season, providing the team with very good depth should any injuries occur again. "We have to keep on improving from the best player on the team to the guy on the end of the bench," Martin added. "You never know when you're going to get an opportunity in this league. We had like three guys go down this year, but the guys that filled in, they played well while we were out."
The point guard situation needs some stability, with the Kings rumored to be interested in D.J. Augustin or possibly Russell Westbrook for the Draft later this month. The team has also been linked to T.J. Ford in some trade talks, but Beno Udrih is expected to return and fit in well into what head coach Reggie Theus was trying to get the team to do.
But with the players Sacramento already has in hand, including Ron Artest due to his decision to not opt out of his contract, Martin should begin to thrive on a more national scale as the Kings start winning more games.
After all, that'll be the best way for Martin to quiet any remaining critics.