After watching Jeremy Tyler thrive in NBA Summer League, the Knicks couldn't help but offer him an invite to training camp. Still young and rather raw, Tyler, nevertheless, has many of the tools one would like to see a big man have, The former Warriors' forward plays with an immense amount of physicality, can crash the boards, and is even bold enough to take (and confidently knock down, no less) further away mid-range jumpers.
Tyler has plenty of promise, so it would make sense that perhaps New York was beginning to envision him as a potential replacement to Kenyon Martin, should the veteran not return next season.
As the Knicks continue to fill out their team this offseason, however, losing Martin is no longer something they'll have to worry about.
The Knicks announced on Thursday that the explosive big man will remain in the Big Apple next season, as he agreed to a one-year, minimum contract. An interesting financial tidbit regarding the deal is the fact that the NBA will pay for some of it.
As per ProBasketballTalk, the new CBA calls for the NBA to pick up approximately $515,000 of a minimum contract signed by any player with three years experience or more. Martin obviously falls into such a category.
As far as what Martin does the court, he's somebody worthwhile to bring back in. His explosiveness and physicality on both ends of the floor proved to be a tremendous positive for the Knicks on a nightly basis. Coach Woodson knew exactly when, where, and how to use him effectively, and his veteran leadership played a role down the stretch. There's no doubt.
Martin was brought in as insurance after many of New York's bigs, such as Amar'e Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, and Kurt Thomas all went down with injuries. The former Nets' forward even filled in as a starter when Tyson Chandler was dealing with his own respective injuries.
But the fact of the matter is that Martin himself missed time and had to sit out too. Having played in just 18 games last season after being sidelined a bit as well during his limited run with New York, it makes you wonder whether or not he'll be able to last (let alone keep up his steady production) over the course of a full season.
Still, for what Martin does bring to the Knicks, a minimum contract is undoubtedly worth "the risk." The team has been piling up talent at a steady pace this summer, with depth seemingly a major priority. Should Martin be forced to sit out or take a step back, there stands to be plenty of other options to step in and ease the pressure of him taking time off. That's the name of the game with an older team like the Knicks.