Long before Golden State snagged Carl Landry to play a little backup power forward, Kenyon Martin was among the litany of frontcourt options the Warriors considered. He joined the long list of bigs whose tires the Warriors kicked, along with Jordan Hill, Shelden Williams and of course, Landry. And you have to admit it’s a little strange that Martin’s still out there. He’s a proven vet with plenty of toughness and rebounding left in the tank.
So why hasn’t he signed anywhere yet?
Martin’s a 12-year vet with career averages of 13 points and seven rebounds. And while his skills have diminished, his tenure in the league entitles him to a certain amount of money—the veteran’s minimum this year is about $1.4 million.
Apparently, Martin’s not interested in signing for so little money. Considering that he’s remained one of the most talented players on the market for a few months now, it seems likely that his salary demands are keeping teams at bay.
The Warriors apparently also weren’t interested in paying too much for a player entering his 13th season, and happily gave Landry $8 million over two years.
Martin’s got a little bit of an edge to him, which might be turning some teams off, as well. A little attitude is fine if there’s plenty of production to go along with it. But when the skills diminish a little, suddenly teams aren’t willing to deal with any extra drama. Just watch how fast a guy like J.R. Smith washes out of the league when his skills erode.
The Warriors seem to have focused on filling out the roster with high-character players. And Martin, despite a pretty clean record, certainly doesn’t look the part, if you catch my drift. The Warriors opted for milquetoast and maybe the rest of the league is leaning that way too—to Martin’s tattooed, rappe-dating detriment.
Whatever the reason, Martin hasn’t found a home. And the fact that he’s still floating around in free-agent limbo shows that the Warriors were wise to fill their roster needs with other options.