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What’s KJ Martin’s Future With the Houston Rockets? 

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Semi Ojeleye, Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

Analyzing Kenyon Martin Jr’s Defense

Kenyon Martin Jr is a defensive tweener. Listed at 6’6, Martin is the height of a small forward but has been deployed as a power forward. The undersized power forward is becoming an increasingly common archetype and Martin looks destined for that distinction. 

It’s difficult to gauge how good Martin is defensively due to the Rockets' porous supporting cast. He’s not an excellent rebounder and his block rate has nearly halved from last season’s 3.4%. The physical traits are there for him to grab boards and provide weak side support, but they’ve yet to statistically materialize. 

With Martin on the court, the Rockets have a defensive rating of 119.2 points per 100 possessions and allow opponents to convert 59.3% of their 2-point attempts. While it’s impossible to accurately discern his overall defensive impact, Martin, at this point, is clearly not a defensive plus. 

What Kenyon Martin Jr is

Kenyon Martin Jr should not be written off by any stretch of the imagination. He only just turned 21, has top-tier vertical athleticism, an incredible highlight package, and is excellent in transition.

What he is now is an energetic player that takes the right shots on offense and is still learning the intricacies of NBA-level defense. In other words, he isn’t a player that has shown enough to command a starting role. 

The holes in his game, shot creation, passing, rebounding, and defense outweigh his current positive attributes of efficient 3-point shooting and finishing at the rim. With that in mind, what does his future hold as a Rocket? 

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