In about three weeks, Kenyon Martin — who was one of 12 thousand Denver Nuggets free agents who decided to sign in China during the NBA lockout — will become eligible to sign with any NBA team of his choosing. Martin asked for a buyout of his Chinese contract months ago, ending his tenure in China early, but his contract stipulates that he cannot play in the NBA until his team’s Chinese season ends. It’s unclear whether Martin has spent his extended offseason fishing, googling the phrase “neck tattoo removal,” attempting to achieve Boris Diaw’s level of fitness or working out to prepare for the NBA season, but he’s a tough-minded big man with experience at helping contenders and/or quasi-contenders.
Free agency is still alive in the NBA because of the lockout. Kenyon Martin has about three weeks left before he is eligible to join a team, and the veteran center will be a popular choice for contenders. Martin bolted the NBA to join the Chinese Basketball Association but then quickly asked out of his contract. FIBA ruled that Martin has to wait until the Chinese season ends in mid-February to sign with a club. The Knicks and Heat are interested, and the Celtics would love to bring in Martin but could only offer the veteran’s minimum.
The reasons against signing Martin: He’s a power forward and the Celtics have a dozen of those, including Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. He probably wouldn’t consider Boston anyway, since the Celtics are no longer the spot for aging veteran Smeagols (who are searching for that ring — get it??). And his tattoos are so mesmerizing, it might be difficult to focus on the actual games.
The reasons for signing Martin: It’s unclear how much center Martin can play, but Jermaine O’Neal, Chris Wilcox and Greg Stiemsma all currently figure into Boston’s rotation. If he’s willing to sign for the veteran’s minimum, why not? And his tattoos are so mesmerizing, it might be difficult to focus on the actual games (which would especially come in handy at times like last night, when the Celtics are busy collapsing against inferior foes).
It’s a very long shot, regardless of how you weigh those pros and cons.