By now everyone knows about the mutual interest between the New York Knicks and veteran forward Kenyon Martin. The thing holding the two back from making a deal is Martin's reluctance to accept the veteran's minimum. He's planning to hold out as long as he can to see if another team with more money might want his services. One such team with interest in Martin with more money is the Boston Celtics who still have their bi-annual exception to use if they choose. Will Boston derail the Knicks plans of adding the viable veteran to the fold behind Amare Stoudemire?
The Atlantic Division is one of the three divisions in the Eastern Conference and one of the most competitive in the entire National Basketball Association (NBA). The division consists of five teams; the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. The Celtics have won the most Atlantic Division titles with 21. The Celtics have also won six championships. The Knicks and the 76ers have won one championship each.
Despite the Celtics overwhelming success, the Celtics and Knicks have have a long standing rivalry. Both because of their locations and because both franchises are original NBA organizations with lots of historic play between one another, the rivalry stays strong to this day. Why should it be any different while fighting for free agents?
While the Knicks have been on the trail of Kenyon Martin he's been reluctant to accept the veteran's minimum. He's publicly claimed he simply wont accept the veteran's minimum and will instead hold out hope that a team with more money to spend will show interest in him. Well, it's happened. The Boston Celtics who have the bi-annual exception available have Martin on a list of players they'd be interested in bringing to the Boston Garden to play this season.
While Boston has more money than the Knicks to offer Martin, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com reports the chances of Martin become a Celtic is very small.
@apastore11: Any more rumblings about the #Celtics going after Kenyon Martin? What's the probability of them signing him? Slim to none.
Alan Hahn of the MSG Network reports more on the Knicks interest of Martin and their other power forward options.
Kenyon Martin is the player so many continue to link to the Knicks, but K-Mart has remained steadfast in not wanting to accept a veteran's minimum. A few teams have Martin on their radar, including the Celtics. While K-Mart provides more toughness and size to the team, the Knicks might not want to get locked in with a volatile player. Not with other younger candidates still out there, such as Lou Amundson, who is contemplating offers overseas against opportunities in the NBA. Amundson could take a one-year in New York and, if he does well behind Amar'e Stoudemire, turn it into a better deal next summer.
Another name to keep an eye on his Shawne Williams, who had success with the Knicks in 2010-11 under Mike D'Antoni but then went to the Nets for more money last summer, only to suffer an injury-depleted season.
The Hawks released Jordan Williams, a former second-round pick of the Nets, and he could get some consideration.
As far as veterans go, Chris Andersen has pushed the idea of playing for the Knicks, but the sentiment isn't mutual . . . Tracy McGrady did get a much-heralded tryout last week with the Knicks, but there doesn't appear to be great interest there. T-Mac also worked out for the Bobcats and Spurs.
The bottom line when it comes to the Knicks and Martin is they both have interest in one another. What we all know from experience is that when there's smoke, there's fire. No one can blame Martin for looking for more money elsewhere but sooner or latter Martin and other veteran free agents are going to either have to settle for the veteran's minimum or leave the NBA for Europe or retirement.
With Martin's poor experience in China it is very likely that he'll eventually accept the veteran's minimum. He's not ready to retire. Will he sign with the Knicks? There's no way to know where he'll end up but as long as the Knicks have a need for a reserve behind Amare Stoudemire and Martin is available he'll always be at the top of the Knicks wish list. Martin can score, rebound and play defense and with his experience of playing with so many current Knicks he is even more attractive to the team.
As the season gets closer and bigger payday opportunities dwindle the chances of Martin accepting the veteran's minimum to become a member of the New York Knicks increases. It's becoming more likely that eventually Martin will give the Knicks more depth to their roster. However, that remains to be seen. What we do know is he wont be joining the Boston Celtics any time soon.