Monday, February 6, 2012

Clippers Sign Kenyon Martin

My good friend Chris Ryan at Grantland wrote about Kenyon Martin signing with the Clippers. In his piece, he makes the point that Kenyon Martin and Jason Kidd were somewhat of a proto-Lob City. While he includes a rather convincing Youtube video of Kenyon Martin jamming really hard, I think he may have missed the point. Martin's high-flying New Jersey days were 8 years and 2 microfracture surgeries ago, so I am skeptical as to his value as a citizen of Lob Angeles.

That's not to say I don't like the signing. The Clippers were pretty desperate for frontcourt depth. After DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin the Clippers were rolling out some sub-par options at forward and center. Reggie Evans sports a 31.13 turnover rate and Brian Cook's true shooting percentage is 25.1 percent. Add in the 5.22 PER of Solomon Jones and you can see why the Clippers were more than willing to part with their mini midlevel exception for Martin.

Martin hasn't lit the world on fire in Denver, but he can finish, especially around the basket (71.3 percent last year), and Chris Paul will certainly be setting up easy looks for him. He's a decent rebounder and had an excellent assist rate last year, one that would put him in the top 5 among power forwards if he plays at least 15 minutes per game. That he should, as any lineup that didn't include Griffin or Jordan for the Clippers has been somewhat disastrous.

So, no, Chris Ryan, I don't expect too many highlight reel slams that made Martin the number 1 overall pick back in 2000. However, I think this greatly improves the Clippers' depth, which in a season like this one, can make all the difference.

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