As nice as it would be to keep Kenyon Martin Jr. into the 2022 season, moving on from the forward also does make since for the Rockets if trade capital is involved.
The Rockets are going to look very different in 2022. Between the addition of Jabari Smith and the departures of players like Christian Wood, this team is going to be defined by a lot of new faces.
However, one face that won’t be new on the starting lineup that may surprise some fans is Jae’Sean Tate. Tate was retained by the Rockets, and his recent contract suggests that he is still going to be a big part of this team.
Tate did play well for stretches of 2021, so it does make sense that the Rockets would want to keep a veteran hold-over to smooth the stormy seas.
This could leave Kenyon Martin Jr. as the odd man out.
K.J. Martin actually outplayed Tate with his limited reps in 2021, especially from three. This type of shooting mixed with his size made him look like a desirable three or four in the modern game, but it just never clicked long enough for him to earn the starting role.
After discussing a trade with the Rockets at the start of the summer, Martin is now being predicted as a likely trade candidate by Kelly Iko of the athletic.
This isn’t exactly what we were hoping for especially when seeing a chance for Martin to fit in with this young roster so well, but the Rockets do have a lot of faces that need to get playing time. Moving on from Martin would create a much more traditional rotation, but having 11 guys is not out of the question.
Still, a move like this does work because it will make youth a substantial priority for the team. One way or another, the Rockets are going to figure out what they have.
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