Where KJ Martin’s trade was before the season
Over the summer, I wrote what I believed Martin’s trade value was at the time. Based upon his production and contract, I figured a late first-round to early second-round pick was fair value. If that seems low, I will summarize how I reached that conclusion.
Martin didn't generate his own offense. He didn't space the floor, and his 3-point shooting appeared ripe for regression. He did a ton of his damage in low-leverage situations. His defense wasn't good, and he didn't defend small forwards. For the positives, he got out in transition, feasted on cuts, and played with energy.
KJ Martin is a young role player with enough upside to give ample opportunities, but he isn’t a starter on most teams. If you’re not a starter on most teams or an impact bench player, your trade value isn’t all that high. If you don't believe me, here's what NBA front offices told us this summer.
Jerami Grant, an impact starter, netted the Detroit Pistons a late first-round pick and two second-round picks. All Christian Wood secured the Rockets were four players buried deep on Dallas’ bench and the 26th pick in the 2022 draft.
Grant and Wood were both in the final years of their deal, but the point remains, a first-round pick is a haul for most players. KJ Martin is not on their level, and a small salary and an additional year of team control won't bridge that gap.