Weighing the pros and cons of Rockets’ draftee Kenyon Martin Jr.

Kenyon Martin Jr. #4 of Sierra Canyon (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Kenyon Martin Jr. #4 of Sierra Canyon (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Kenyon Martin Jr. #4 of Sierra Canyon (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

Areas of concern for Rockets’ Kenyon Martin Jr.

Martin was initially committed to Vanderbilt University, as he was bound to play for former NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse. Martin could’ve used the collegiate experience, as he was originally just a three-star prospect coming out of high school, where he starred at Sierra Canyon High, which isn’t great considering how the level of competition he faced wasn’t equal to that of the top collegiate conferences.

During the 2018-19 season, Martin was listed as the 48th-best prep player at his position nationally and the 24th-best player in the state of California, posting averages of 16.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Martin opted to attend the IMG Academy for the 2019-20 season, posting averages of 19.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Martin made just 67 percent of his free throws in 2019-20, which could be reminiscent of former Houston Rockets big men Clint Capela and Dwight Howard. Martin will certainly need to improve upon his free throw percentage, as it could prove to be difficult for him to land playing time during pivotal moments if he can’t be relied upon to capitalize on his attempts from the charity stripe.

Martin also figures to be a tad bit undersized for an NBA power forward, as he stands 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 215 pounds. The Rockets are rumored to not be as interested in playing small ball as they were during the 2019-20 season, as new coach Stephen Silas made it known that he’d like a traditional center/big man.

It would be an understatement to say that Martin could have benefited from playing a year in college, but in spite of the concerns regarding his game, Martin is just 19-years-old and has plenty of room to improve, and especially under Silas, who is known to be a development specialist.

Next: Strengths of KJ