Friday, July 1, 2011

NBA Trade Suggestion: Why Kenyon Martin Is a Smart Choice for LA Lakers

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The LA Lakers should look at signing free agent Kenyon Martin to a contract as soon as the season is over. To tell you why, we must first go back 11 years.

Once upon a the time, Martin was the most dominate player in college basketball.

He led the No. 1 ranked University of Cincinnati Bearcats to the top ranking in the polls, as Martin was an explosive scorer that could jump out of the gym.

Nobody was more exciting at the time.

He parlayed that success into the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NBA Draft to the New Jersey Nets. Right away he experienced success alongside Jason Kidd, and the squad made back-to-back NBA Finals appearances (including once against the Lakers).

After four highly successful seasons, he signed a mega deal with the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately for both parties, seven somewhat injury-plagued seasons later, he is going to be searching for a new city to call home.

Multiple knee surgeries have taken the spring out of his jump, but Martin is still an effective post player. He is a strong rebounder that can be a solid scoring option, as well. Injuries may have robbed him of his spring, but Martin can still knock down 20-footers with his eyes closed.

The LA Lakers need a veteran with championship experience that can come off the bench and fit into the offense without demanding the ball.


They need a guy that can provide rugged defense to help cover up the deficiencies of Pau Gasol.


They need a guy that has a strong personality that can get in the faces of the younger players that have already tuned out Kobe.


They need a guy that is not concerned with numbers or glory, but a guy that is simply trying to be fitted for an enormous piece of jewelery on his ring finger.

At this point in Martin's career—and at this point with the Lakers—this is a perfect match and one that would benefit both parties.

Martin has already made enough money in the NBA and will likely not force the Lakers to break the bank. A mid-level exception at the most.

Don't be surprised to see K-Mart in the purple-and-gold quickly after this lockout ends.

By Eric Ball (Featured Columnist)


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