Monday, January 30, 2012

Chauncey Billups Has Reached Out To Kenyon Martin

"Kenyon Martin to the Clippers?

Chauncey Billups would like to see that happen.

In fact, the Clippers' veteran guard said Saturday that he has reached out to the free-agent forward, a former teammate of his in Denver, about signing with the Clippers.

What are Martin's thoughts about doing so?

"I'll let him tell y'all that," Billups said with a smile.

Asked about reports that the Clippers are one of a handful of teams that have contacted Martin, Coach Vinny Del Negro declined to go into specifics.

"Kenyon is an experienced guy that knows how to play, can play some [power forward], play some [center]," Del Negro said. "He brings a lot of athleticism …"

Del Negro neither confirmed nor denied that he has reached out to Martin.

Financially, the Clippers could make a strong play for the 34-year-old Martin, an 11-year NBA veteran.

They have two trade exceptions they can use to sign a player, one for $3.8 million and another for $2.7 million that were acquired in their deal for Chris Paul. They also have what's called a mini mid-level exception for $2.5 million, and, lastly, the Clippers have a 14-man roster, leaving one spot open.

"He's very valuable," Billups said of Martin. "Of course, he comes from winning stock. He's been to the [NBA] Finals twice. He has great ability. He is a leader. One thing I know about Kenyon, he's a winner. He'll do whatever it takes to win. He's one of the great one-on-one defensive players for a big man I've played with. And, contrary to what everybody believes, he's a really good dude."

Martin can sign with an NBA team as soon as the team he signed with in China, the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers, completes its season."

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