Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterWith the 2014-15 season set to be a transitional year for the Knicks as they wait for cap relief to come the next summer, one might have wondered if the team’s roster would truly look much different this coming season.
But as fate would have it, Phil Jackson and co. have slowly but surely transformed the team’s roster. Changes were made little by little, and New York figures to have a different look and a fresh mentality in the coming months.
Two of the remaining stragglers from last season, Shannon Brown (Miami Heat) and Toure Murry (Utah Jazz), both signed with different teams this week. Most of the team’s departed players are now spoken for.
That said, Kenyon Martin still remains a free agent. Having provided the Knicks with one of the most intimidating and physical defensive presences they’ve had in years, there’s no doubt the veteran forward made a positive contribution over the past two seasons. The only problem was, he didn’t exactly make enough of it.
Martin’s appeared in just 50 games in two seasons with New York. He’s battled injuries in each year. Despite joining the Knicks towards the end of the 2012-13 season, the forward was forced to sit out a handful of contests. This past season, his last appearance came on February 1st, but he even missed fifteen games before that as well.
As the Knicks filled out their roster this offseason, they passed on offering Martin another contract. Still unsigned in late August, it’s no surprise that his inability to stay healthy over the course of a full season has reportedly scared other teams away, too.
Despite all of this, perhaps the forward will return to don orange and blue one more time. If a player cannot keep himself on the court for (at least) the majority of the season, it’s not worth granting him a contract at the beginning of the season. After getting burned by the likes of Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby in the past, New York may have learned its lesson by now.
Martin is a terrific locker room guy who, when actually hitting the hardwood, provides the Knicks with something they don’t get from just anybody. Having not appeared in 60 games in any of the last four seasons, signing the vet to a training camp contract with hopes of him impressing early on probably isn’t the way to go.
However, by employing the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnanu, and Samuel Dalembert on their frontline, there’s a good chance the Knicks could be in need of an extra big man, should these aforementioned players fall victims to injuries midseason. Perhaps if he’s still available by then, the team could give Martin a call.