Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. could become available for a trade this offseason, according to sources. Martin Jr. was selected 52nd overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2020 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-6 wing was then immediately traded to Houston for cash and a 2021 second-round draft pick.
“In talks with teams, the Rockets have maintained their stance that they aren’t looking to trade anyone from their core — including top-five picks in Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. and lottery picks Alperen Şengün and Tari Easo,” wrote Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Rockets hold 24th-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are giving the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs better odds.
— The Bradeaux & Will Show (@BradeauxAndWill) June 17, 2023
“Elsewhere, there has been interest in 22-year-old forward KJ Martin, sources say, with his combination of age and upside still intriguing to rival NBA teams and deemed attainable internally for the right price.”
Of course, Kenyon Martin Jr. played lights out this past season. The third-year wing made 49 starts in all 82 games played of the 2022-23 season. The forward averaged career highs of 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 28 minutes per game. Martin Jr. also shot a career-best 56.9% from the floor.
Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. might become available for a potential trade this offseason
Additionally, in Houston’s 128-122 loss against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 25, Martin Jr. recorded 21 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in 34 minutes as a starter.
In the Rockets’ 130-125 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Mar. 22, the California native scored a career-high 31 points in 39 minutes as a starter. He tallied six boards and two blocks while shooting 12-of-18 (66.7%) from the field and 2-of-5 (40%) beyond the arc.
Kenyon Martin Jr. (who’s still only 22):
Finished with 179 dunks (7th in the NBA) and had the 3rd highest FG% in the restricted area in the entire NBA after the all star break (78.6%)
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) May 25, 2023
If the Rockets decide to trade Kenyon Martin Jr., it will be an easy move. In November 2020, the forward signed a four-year, $6 million contract with the club. His $1,930,681 salary for the 2023-24 season is non-guaranteed.
Furthermore, the Rockets hold pick Nos. 4 and 20 in this Thursday’s 2023 NBA Draft. Houston is projected to select Overtime Elite guard Amen Thompson fourth overall. However, USA TODAY’s Jeff Zillgitt and CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish have the Rockets picking Villanova freshman forward Cam Whitmore at No. 4.
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Source: Basketball Insider