Kenyon Martin Jr. receiving a B might be surprising, but there is a good reason for it. He’s basically the exact same player he was last season, just in four more minutes per game. That’s not a negative, but Martin remains a limited player. He runs in transition, he cuts, he grabs some boards, and he gets some crazy blocks, but that’s about it.
The Rockets would be wise to expand his role further. They’ve started to use him more as a screener in the pick and roll, but the results have yet to match the highlights. Martin is a great option off the bench and spot starter, but until he adds another layer to his game. His 3-point shooting has predictably come back to Earth this season, and it’s unlikely he’ll continue to shoot 53.1% on shots three to ten feet from the rim.
Martin has had a strong start to the season, but that’s beside the point. We know he can be good playing this way. We need to see if he can expand his game further. If he can’t, that’s fine, but if he can, then he could be a true impact player.
The year is 2032, and Eric Gordon is averaging 10 points on five 3-point attempts per game. What Gordon does is well established. He bombs from deep to space the floor, handles the rock for spells, and drives to the rim with surprising efficiency. At 34, the Rockets can’t ask him to do much more, and they’re not.
Most crucially, Gordon has remained healthy, keeping his trade value intact. There’s not much more to say about Eric Gordon. He’s good at what he does. If you think his defense needs to improve, that’s on you. He was never a good defender, and at 34, he isn’t suddenly breaking out.