GM: Knicks giving “full consideration” to re-signing Kenyon Martin
The Knicks currently have 10 players under contract, including C.J. Leslie, who has a partially guaranteed deal for next season. That leaves Grunwald with five roster spots to fill in order to assemble the Knicks 2013-14 squad. The Knicks could sign either a third point guard or a big man to those spots, as those are the positions the team is looking to address through free agency. League sources claim the Knicks could also pursue shooters on the free agent market.
The 35-year-old Kenyon Martin falls right into their plan. Martin played last season on a veteran’s minimum contract following the trade deal. He provided an instant boost to the Knicks, who were depleted in the front court, and a much need presence around the basket.
Martin averaged 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 29.3 minutes last season, as he slid instantly slid into the Knicks’ starting lineup replacing injured center Tyson Chandler to start 11-of-18 games. He also shot a career-best 60.2 percent from the floor but that came at the sacrifice of giving up on perimeter shooting.
The Knicks were interested in free agent big man Elton Brand and even made an offer, but according to ESPNNewYork.com's Jared Zwerling, Brand has since made it quite clear that he does not share the team’s interest. Another league source claimed that Brand declined the Knicks’ offer since he does not want to play on a veteran’s minimum contract.
It remains unclear whether Martin will be willing to play on the same veteran’s minimum contract. However, the Knicks could also utilize their taxpayers’ exception to offer Martin a $1.75 million contract.
"Kenyon had a great year with us and we were very thankful for all he gave to us last year," said Grunwald via conference call on Thursday. "We're evaluating our options in that regard and certainly key on is getting our full consideration as we look at what options we have."
The Knicks have been looking at other free agent options as well such as point guard Aaron Brooks and Tyrus Thomas, according to the New York Daily News.
Meanwhile, Grunwald said the Knicks will tryout Iman Shumpert at point guard and if he prospers at the position during the Summer League, they may mark off their list the search for a lead guard in free agency.
"We're working towards filling out the rest of the roster,” said Grunwald. “Maybe we might want to hold open a roster spot or two to go into training camp to have a player come in like Chris Copeland did last year and earn a spot and make a name for himself.”
“So we still have some flexibility."