Kenyon Martin Jr. posts farewell message to Rockets after trade to Clippers

Kenyon Martin Jr. posts farewell message to Houston Rockets after trade to Los Angeles Clippers KJ Martin

Kenyon Martin Jr. was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Clippers for two future second-round draft picks earlier this month, and the third-year forward has no hard feelings towards his former team.

“H-TOWNN!! I want to thank the Feritta Family and Rafael Stone for taking a chance on my 3 years ago and giving me a opportunity to be a NBA player,” Martin Jr. wrote. “I want to thank Coach Silas and the staff I’ve had the past 3 years for coaching me. Thank you to all my weight coaches, trainers, and equipment managers.

“Through the ups and downs the past 3 years I had a blast putting on for the city of Houston. To my teammates you know how we rock I appreciate y’all for helping me become a better play each and everyday.

“Y’all continue to go out there a ball out. Houston till next time y’all always gonna have a place in my heart. Now on the next chapter of my life I’m extremely excited to go back home and put on for LA let’s get it Go Clips.”

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Houston Rockets hold 24th-ranked odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Sportsbooks are giving the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs better odds.

In June, Houston picked up Martin Jr.’s $1.9 million team option for the 2023-24 season prior to trading him. His team option is part of the four-year, $6.13 million contract he signed with the Rockets in November 2020. His cap hit for next season is $1,930,681.

Martin Jr.’s father, Kenyon Sr., played for the Clippers under president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank during his coaching days with the New Jersey Nets.

Kenyon Martin Jr. thanks Feritta family, coaches, teammates, trainers, and GM Rafael Stone of Houston Rockets in tweet after trade to Los Angeles Clippers

The 6-foot-6 small forward was selected 52nd overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2020 NBA Draft. He was then immediately traded to Houston for cash and a 2021 second-round draft pick.

Martin Jr. made 49 starts in all 82 games played in the 2022-23 season. The forward averaged career highs of 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 28 minutes per game. Martin Jr. also shot a career-best 56.9% from the floor.

In the Rockets’ 130-125 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies on Mar. 22, the California native scored a career-high 31 points in 39 minutes as a starter. He posted six boards and two blocks while shooting 12-of-18 (66.7%) from the field and 2-of-5 (40%) beyond the arc.

Additionally, Martin Jr. finished 11th in effective field goal percentage (61.7%) and 17th in offensive rating (125.8). In Houston’s 128-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 25, he recorded 21 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds in 34 minutes as a starter.

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