Martin agrees to sign with Clippers
Kenyon Martin has agreed to a one-year deal with the Clippers worth $2.5 million, two sources confirmed to SI.com.
The 11-year veteran had been among a small group of NBA players who signed deals without opt-out clauses in China during the lockout. But he reached an agreement to leave the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers on Dec. 21 and the NBA sent a letter to teams on Thursday indicating that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had cleared Martin to return. The Chinese Basketball Association is reportedly fighting the ruling, but all indications are that Martin will be able to resume his NBA career immediately.
Martin, who boasts career averages of 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game with the Nets and Nuggets and remains close with Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, will add to the team's already-strong veteran presence and provide much-needed depth down low. The 13-7 Clippers are third in the Western Conference, but defensive specialist Reggie Evans is their most reliable big man off the bench and Blake Griffin is their only consistent scorer in the post. Martin had been considering the Heat, Lakers, Spurs, Knicks and Hawks as well.
It appears Martin will be the only player who signed in China who is allowed to return earlier than expected. Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks are still in China and are expected to remain until their seasons end (mid-February for teams that don't make the playoffs and slightly longer for those that do).