Report: Kenyon Martin talking to Nets, Lakers

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Things haven’t really changed that much on the Kenyon Martin front — he wants to get paid, not the league minimum but real money. And that’s not out there.

The Knicks might want him back at the minimum, but that’s not who Martin is talking to, according to Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.

Kenyon Martin, meanwhile, isn’t so lucky. The 12-year veteran was a key reserve for the Clippers, his impact going way beyond his marginal numbers (5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds) for a team that reached the second round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history. But sources said the 34-year-old power forward is holding up this later stage of the hiring process for frontcourt free agents, with the Lakers and the Nets among the teams he’s considering and negotiation leverage seemingly gone because so many of his colleagues seem willing to take minimum deals.

The Lakers are not offering anybody more than the minimum, team GM Mitch Kupchak said. The Nets are in the same boat.

This is what the new CBA brings.

With the harsher penalties of a stricter luxury tax kicking in next summer what you are seeing is this hitting the NBA’s middle class — teams will spend on real difference makers but if you are a role player you are going to get less money and shorter deals. Teams are not paying the tax for you, they will sacrifice a little experience and quality to save money.

Look at what one agent told Amick.

“Do I think that in the new CBA that you’re going to see a greater number of minimum wage players? Yes, there’s no doubt about it,” agent Marc Cornstein said. “I think you’re already seeing that and I think it’s a trend that will probably continue. More shorter deals and minimum deals.”

Martin is one of those guys now. He is not going to want to accept it. Neither are guys like Anthony Tolliver, Leandro Barbosa, Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus, but it is the new reality.