It looks like the Los Angeles Clippers have added another piece to their impressive roster this week: former Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin.
According to ESPN, the Clips have agreed to a deal with the 34-year-old free agent, worth $2.5 million for one year.
The former Denver forward, who reached a buyout agreement with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers on December 21 and was cleared by FIBA to return to the NBA earlier this week, will join a frontcourt rotation that includes All-Star Blake Griffin and rising young center DeAndre Jordan.
Reports say Martin was also pursued by the likes of the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
In L.A., he will come off the bench, providing important depth at the power forward position behind Griffin, who was previously relying on Reggie Evans and Solomon Jones to back him up.
According to ESPN, new Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, who was Martin’s teammate in Denver, played a lead role in recruiting him. Martin met with the Clippers in early January and was told to watch their games and see if he thinks he would fit in, a team source said. Apparently, he felt they did.
The Clippers were only able to offer Martin their mini-mid-level exception or $2.5 million. Miami and the Lakers could have offered him only a minimum contract, while Atlanta and San Antonio could have offered more.
Martin spent part of the season playing in China, signing a deal with the overseas team during the lockout. His Clippers debut could be delayed though, until sometime mid-season as Chinese Basketball Association officials petition FIBA and the NBA to honor his signed agreement.
FIBA gave Martin a clearance letter to play immediately in the NBA this week after China officials were slow to respond to a request made over the Chinese New Year.