Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Shouldn't Wait for Kenyon Martin

The New York Knicks still have a $2.5 million exception to use, and one name that's been bantered about is long-time Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin. Carmelo Anthony's former teammate can't sign until March, however, which means the Knicks should avoid making any promises.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that Anthony is pushing for Martin to get New York's final bargaining chip:

The source said Martin considers the Knicks his top choice, partly because of his friendship with Anthony. They became tight during their nearly seven seasons together in Denver. Martin could fill the role of another gritty big man off the bench with athleticism.

Martin signed a contract with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers during the NBA's lockout, but it didn't include an out clause to allow him an immediate return. So, he's barred from signing a new deal until his Chinese team's season is over.

Even though Martin wouldn't be a bad signing by the Knicks, he's not so valuable that they need to commit to him right now. A lot can change between now and March, especially considering the league's condensed schedule, and the front office doesn't want its hands tied.

The former first overall pick averaged just nine points and six rebounds in a career-low 26 minutes per game for the Nuggets last season. His play in China was also less than inspiring, but that may be due to his heart never being fully committed to his new gig. That said, the extra time off should ensure he's 100 percent for the stretch run and would provide some valuable depth up front.

The Knicks have been searching for another forward for quite some time despite guard seemingly being a bigger area of need.

Since the exception is the only thing the Knicks have to lure potential free agents to Madison Square Garden, they need to keep their options open should a more intriguing option become available. If March rolls around and they still haven't found anybody else worth pursuing, then it will be time to strongly consider Martin. If they were to make a verbal commitment now and a veteran shooting guard became available, it would put the team in an awkward position.

Should the Knicks commit their exception to Martin?

    Should the Knicks commit their exception to Martin?

  • Yes, he'll be worth the wait.

  • No, keep their options open.

Should the Knicks assert themselves as contenders, and yesterday's win over the Boston Celtics was a good start, veterans will be literally lining up to join the team. That $2.5 million deal could turn into gold by March.

All told, Martin is a name to keep in mind, but the Knicks can survive without him should another target become interested in New York.


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