Why the Rockets should not trade KJ Martin

N.B. Lindberg
Orlando Magic v Houston Rockets
Orlando Magic v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Should the Rockets trade KJ Martin?

In terms of present-day value, Martin would be a solid eighth or ninth man on a good team. The only way for his trade value to grow is for a team to view his potential as far exceeding his current game. If an organization believes they can turn Martin into a lockdown wing defender, unlock his handle, or refine his 3-point shooting, then suddenly he has far more trade value than he did before. 

This brings me to my conclusion. The Rockets should not trade KJ Martin unless they can land an asset that approaches a first-round pick just outside of the lottery. He has a strong base of skills that give him current value and provide a base to build around. If he pops in any area of weakness (dribbling, defending, passing, shooting), he suddenly is an excellent role player. 

The problem is he hasn’t shown enough growth in those areas for a team to be confident that those changes are on the horizon. Martin remains a project, and projects don’t have much trade value. The Rockets are also in the middle of a rebuild and should be acquiring projects, not flipping them for assets that net you a role player or yet another project. 

KJ Martin is a fun yet flawed player. He has some rare physical traits, but he hasn’t been able to iron out the rest of his game for them to be truly game-changing. The Rockets should be the ones to see if he can because his trade value will be what he is, which is a solid role-player. 

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