Kenyon Martin is about to be a free agent at age 33. A guy who has had his big contract and is set financially (or at least should be). As a rookie he was on a Nets team that went all the way to the NBA finals and has never been that far again.
That is the recipe for a guy willing to take a big pay cut to go to a contender.
That’s what Martin told the Denver Post.
“At this point in my career, I think winning and being part of a winning team is more important than starting,” Martin said.
Martin was asked if the Nuggets could fit that role of a winning franchise.
“Winning? Yeah,” he said after the players cleaned out their lockers at Pepsi Center. “But we’ll see (about signing).”
It’s hard to say how this free agent summer is going to shake out, you would think some contenders will have interest but whether they have the room to get him under a new CBA is another question entirely. But two things you can expect with the pursuit of Martin:
1) He’s going to take a steep pay cut from the $16.5 million he made this season. He’s in his 30s with a history of knee trouble, that is not a recipe for a big payday now that Isiah Thomas is out of the league.
2) If a contender comes through with an offer anywhere in the ballpark of what the Nuggets offer, he is gone.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.