5 Houston Rockets who may not be back next season
5. Kenyon Martin Jr.
One of these things is not like the others. Kenyon Martin Jr. provides a bevy of talent and just turned 22-years-old.
And in spite of the talent that he possesses, he's still developing, which was to expected, as Martin was a project coming out of IMG Academy. Martin played all 82 games this season, joining Tari Eason as the only Rockets player to do so since PJ Tucker in 2018-19. Martin and Eason were two of just 10 players to play all 82 games this season also.
Martin's ability to finish at the rim is unquestioned, as he had 173 dunks on the year, which were the most by someone 6'6 or shorter. Martin is a man possessed in transition, having no regard for human life.
Martin also possesses a formidable 3-point shot, although his long-range shooting took a dip to 31.5 percent, after shooting 36.5 percent and 35.7 percent in each of his first two seasons (on relatively the same number of attempts). Martin is also underrated as a passer, having the ability to dish out to 3-point shooters after attacking closeouts from the corner.
So why is he on the list, you ask? Because Martin possesses value as a trade chip, and could be the key to the Rockets getting Jaylen Brown or Cam Johnson, both of whom they are rumored to have interest in this summer. And although Martin is a great, young talent, both Brown and Johnson are clearly upgrades.
And the Rockets would be wise to have Eason be the first man off the bench in their wing rotation next season, so Martin would get squeezed for minutes anyways. Martin has also made it known that he wants a new deal and the Rockets haven't necessarily moved on that, and understandably, as they have a team option of $1.9 million for him next season.
The Rockets could move him under his current number or they could give him an extension and deal him afterwards, after the six-month waiting period.