You have to give New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin some credit.
Sometimes when opportunity presents itself you have to take advantage of it and that is exactly what Martin has been doing.
K-Mart sat around unsigned this season until the trade deadline when the Knicks came calling. Once they did, Martin’s recent play isn’t just about helping his new team win, it’s also about auditioning for a job next season. With what he has done as of late, there is no way that Martin won’t be on some team’s roster at the beginning of next season.
He hopes it is with the Knicks.
Martin has made his feeling felt about wanting to return to the Big Apple next season, but going forward you have to wonder if the feeling will be mutual.
With Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace likely to retire at the end of the season and Amar’e Stoudemire and Marcus Camby continually banged up, the need will be there as the Knicks could certainly use a post presence such as K-Mart at both ends of the floor.
Martin works very well in the pick-and-roll, excels on put backs and alongside Tyson Chandler, helps the Knicks protect the rim very well.
But at the end of the day, it will all come down to money.
The Knicks likely won’t be able to offer Martin much more than the minimum next season, even if a couple of their current vets hang up their sneakers.
J.R. Smith has a player option for next season and with the year he is having, he is all but assured to opt out and seek much more than the $2.9 million he would be owed. You would have to think that freeing up some money for Smith will be priority No. 1 in the offseason.
Then there is the fact that Martin will be 36 next season.
Watching the injuries pile up this season, you have to wonder if the Knicks will shy away from aging veterans in the future, even if Mike Woodson prefers them over younger players.
There is a reason that Martin sat out most of the season and that is the fact that he was seeking a contract that matched what he felt his value was. Now that he is proving his value, you would have to think that some team will throw Martin decent money next year. Unfortunately, given the fact that they are above the tax line, it likely won’t be the Knicks.
K-Mart is a guy that I would love to see back with the Knicks next season, but the better he plays the remainder of the season; he just may be playing his way out of the Big Apple.
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