“Insider” Matt Steinmetz reported today that the Warriors are interested in Clippers free agent Kenyon Martin. Finally! Someone to fill the void left by Monta Ellis.
No, Martin won’t take up the scoring slack. He’s got lots of tattoos though, almost enough to replace the dearth of ink caused by Ellis’ departure last spring.
And while the Warriors are certainly under their NBA tattoo quota without Ellis, they’re also severely lacking in frontcourt support—an area Martin would also help address. In Martin, the Warriors would potentially acquire a tough, undersized 4 who is still an amazing leaper at age 34. Moreover, K-Mart would also fill a major void on the roster with his ability to actually defend opposing power forwards (something that apparently isn’t in David Lee’s contract).
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Warriors’ management has made a concerted and obvious effort to surround its young core with high-character players. Certainly, Martin cultivates the perception that he’s a tough guy and might even be a little dangerous. Surprisingly, though, Martin is known in NBA circles for his philanthropy. So despite appearances, he’d actually fit into the choir-boy mold the Warriors are trying to promote.
On the financial side, the Warriors still have the full $5.1 million mid-level exception at their disposal, so it’s conceivable that they could afford Martin, who made $2.5 million in a shortened season with the Clippers last year.
Overall, Martin would be a nice fit, and certainly a splashier signing than someone like Shelden Williams (another rumored target). As the signing period heats up, we’ll have to wait and see whether the Warriors ink Martin.