In November of 2020, the Houston Rockets unearthed a gem when they sent the Sacramento Kings a future second-round pick and cash considerations for the right to be Kenyon Martin Jr’s employer. The second-year forward’s high effort and high flying style of play quickly endeared him to the fanbase.
The Rockets front office was seemingly just as impressed. On March 11, it was reported that they guaranteed his salary for the 2022-23 season. The move signals that Martin is viewed as a long-term building block. However, his future role remains a question.
Selected with the 52nd overall pick, Martin’s NBA future was never a given. He spent the majority of the first half of his rookie season playing in the G-League, and didn’t ditch the G-League for the final time until March of 2021.
Since his arrival to the Rockets’ rotation, he has proven that he belongs in the NBA, but his role has been incredibly limited and raises questions about his ultimate ceiling.
Analyzing Kenyon Martin Jr’s Offensive Impact
Martin’s shot diet is as analytically friendly as they come. When he shoots he’s almost always at the rim or beyond the arc. For his career, 76.7% of his shots have been 0-3 feet from the rim or from 3-point range, and this season he hasn’t taken a single mid-range jumper.
Martin doesn’t just take efficient shots, he makes them too. This season, he has shot 36.6% from 3-point range, after shooting 36.5% last season, and 25.4% of all his field-goal attempts have been dunks. When it’s all added up, Martin is an efficient monster with an unmatched highlight package.
In transition, Martin is an absolute terror, and in an uptempo setting, he's one bad pass from the opponent away from being on Sports Center. However, that’s the extent of Martin’s contributions on offense. He offers next to no playmaking and, for all of his athleticism, he can’t create his own shot. For his career,100% of his 3-pointers and 71% of his 2-point field goals have been assisted.