The Houston Rockets seem poised to select another forward in this week’s NBA Draft, particularly with the recent departure of Christian Wood, and that has one current Rocket evaluating where he stands with the franchise.
According to beat reporter Kelly Iko of The Athletic, third-year forward Kenyon Martin Jr. has approached team management about more playing time and has also discussed the possibility of being traded. It seems to stop short of an outright trade demand, but it’s certainly obvious that Martin isn’t happy.
With the reality of the incoming No.3 pick and possibly more, second-year forward Kenyon Martin Jr. recently approached Rockets management to discuss the possibility of a trade from the franchise, sources told @TheAthletic. https://t.co/WoVo5OOqop— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) June 20, 2022
“With the reality of the incoming No. 3 pick and possibly more, second-year forward Kenyon Martin Jr. recently approached Rockets management to discuss the possibility of a trade from the franchise, sources said. The nature of the conversation was candid. With the potential moves following Thursday’s draft, the sudden reality is there isn’t as clear of a path to minutes for Martin in the rotation. It must be stated that there’s no bad blood between the two parties...”
“There are a number of teams — playoff contenders included — that have registered interest in Martin in the past, sources said, with his combination of age, athleticism and untapped potential deemed as attractive.”
Martin has been effective for the Rockets when he has gotten minutes, and he sports averages of 9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game in his two seasons with the team. He has a 52.4 percent field goal percentage and shoots 36 percent from downtown for his career over 21 minutes per night.
He played in 79 games this past season, though he’s only started two, and he’s well-known among Rockets fans for thunderous dunks, highlight reel blocks, and ridiculous hops. He does have a questionable handle, but he’s shown enough with Houston that I agree he should have been seeing more time with this rebuilding squad.
If you recall, earlier this year, Kenyon Martin Sr. made comments alluding to the fact that his son deserved more opportunity, and now it seems the younger Martin is attempting to force the issue.
I can see where Martin is coming from, as he’s showed promise in his limited time. And with the Rockets being terrible recently, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be on the court more. With potentially three more incoming first round picks for Houston, it makes sense why Martin would be concerned about his court time.
The 21-year-old is under a non-guaranteed contract until the 2023-2024 season, which shouldn’t be hard to move if it comes to that. Personally, I’d like to see Martin get a shot in H-town, but when you have such a heavy influx of young talent like Houston is seeing these past two drafts, you’re not going to be able to develop every single one.
That’s part of the reason I feel Houston will try to package picks 26 and 17 to move up in this week’s draft, but that’s a different discussion.