The New York Knicks made a bold move for their roster. They traded guard Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a second-round draft pick in 2014.
That move enabled the Knicks to clear cap room for Kenyon Martin.
The Knicks signed Martin to a 10-day contract. If he performs as the Knicks hope, he’ll most likely stay. It’s a huge risk for both parties. The Knicks need Martin’s depth and experience, while the 35-year-old needs to prove he can still play at the NBA level.
Martin brings experience and height to the table. At 6’9” and 240 pounds, he can play power forward and center. Martin doesn’t rake in points and rebounds. His career totals are 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds. Martin is better defensively, something the Knicks sorely need.
Martin contributes more on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a strong inside defender and shot blocker. That could come in handy, especially in the playoffs.
The Knicks are currently third in the East, leading the Atlantic Division over the Brooklyn Nets by one game. The Knicks would take on the Atlanta Hawks if the playoffs began today. Defense could come in handy, especially neutralizing Al Horford and Josh Smith on the perimeter.
Martin also provides depth to a small Knicks lineup. Tyson Chandler starts at center, but Carmelo Anthony starts at power forward. They have Iman Shumpert playing small forward, while Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd play the point and shooting guards, respectively. If Amare Stoudemire can get back to his playing shape, it should be a no-brainer to start him.
Stoudemire’s health and Martin’s performance can make the Knicks bigger in the power forward and center positions. More depth, especially in the playoffs, is key for any team. Kenyon Martin provides that depth.
The Knicks signing Kenyon Martin sends a message loud and clear. They want their defense to improve at the power forward and center positions. Martin can provide that, but it’s his turn to prove the Knicks made the right decision in signing him.