LA Clippers: KJ Martin has a great opportunity to jump-start career in LA

NBA Kenyon Martin Jr. (Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Kenyon Martin Jr. (Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports) /

KJ Martin Jr. could be on the verge of a big season after being traded to the LA Clippers. 

Kenyon Martin Jr. got the chance to shine while he was a member of the Houston Rockets, but now we will really get to see what he can accomplish as he prepares to enter the season with a loaded LA Clippers team.

The expectations for him are not that high as he is just expected to be the same role player he was in Houston. Assessing the situation, Martin Jr. is capable of being much more than a role player. Being the son of a former NBA player comes with its fair share of pressure. Just to earn a spot on an NBA roster is an accomplishment within itself and Martin Jr. has done nothing but impress as he entered the league as a second-round draft pick.

He’s given us highlights similar to the ones we used to see from his dad and has done nothing but established himself as one of the most impressive young talents that will be coveted by numerous teams once he hits the free-agent market next summer.

Martin Jr. developed into a solid rotational player during his tenure his Houston as he proved last season that he was prepared to take on a bigger role. As his minutes increased, so did his numbers. During his first two seasons in Houston, he averaged 9.5 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game.

During his third season, he posted career highs with 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. As Martin Jr.’s numbers improved he caught the attention of other teams as he became a coveted trade asset. Due to the Rockets stockpiling draft picks over the years, their roster became crowded with young talent.

At the end of the day, the Rockets wanted to hold on to Martin Jr. but ended up trading him to the LA Clippers. This deal just made sense for both teams.

By trading away Martin Jr., it opened up a roster spot for one of the players they just drafted. It will also save the Rockets money as Martin Jr. heads to free agency after this season. For the Clippers, this trade made sense because it gives them a high-energy player who can run the floor with Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook.

Why KJ Martin could have a breakout season with the LA Clippers

Being on the floor with future Hall of Famers, Martin Jr. should be able to elevate his game and take advantage of all of the possible mismatches he will have during the course of the season. The way Martin Jr. loves to slash and run to the rim should pay off big time for the Clippers.

They have willing passers who don’t mind sharing the ball and players who have the mentality to sacrifice and do what it takes to win. Martin Jr. and Westbrook should be able to easily run and gun on fast breaks and the explosiveness that these two players have could overwhelm some of their opponents.

The addition of Martin Jr. should allow the Clippers to match up well against other teams who are also athletic as they found problems with more athletic teams last season. With his length and defensive prowess, Martin Jr. can help keep guards from attacking the lane and serve as a rim protector on the weak side as he should be a perfect fit in Tyronn Lue’s system, especially with the way he runs the floor.

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Martin Jr.’s supreme athleticism will be a plus on defense as he should also be a threat on the offensive end with his ability to slash. We can expect Martin Jr. to become a major factor during the course of the season as he should take advantage of the opportunity to play with this talented team. A breakout season could very well be on the horizon, especially with his upcoming free agency.