NBA Rumors: Kenyon Martin Would Bring Necessary Toughness to Warriors' Rotation

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 17:   Kenyon Martin #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 17, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors were quiet suitors in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but they dropped out in the early days of July. Kenyon Martin doesn't fit Howard's superstar role, but his caginess would add a necessary element to Golden State's roster.

According to Matt Steinmetiz of the Warriors are looking at the 12-year veteran:

According to league sources, the Warriors have made inquiries and are open to the idea of signing Martin, who played last season for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers have made it clear this offseason that the team is looking to add toughness and experience to their roster.

Lacob and Myers hit the nail on the head. The Warriors lack the experience and toughness necessary to make serious noise in the Western Conference. Every other contender has a handful of players who have faced the postseason's trials and tribulations.

The Warriors don't. 

Martin only averaged five points per game in 42 appearances for the Clippers last season, but Golden State don't need scoring. It will have consistent buckets coming from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. 

Golden State's frontcourt is talented, but it's inexperienced and fragile.

Andrew Bogut is a consistent double-double threat and a defensive presence, but he's often injured. In his seven-year career, he's only started more than 70 games once. David Lee is a consistent rebounder (9.6 per game last year), but he doesn't necessarily fit the Warriors' new mold. 

The Warriors are becoming a sleek scoring machine. Martin's athleticism would blend more than Lee's at power forward. Lee's a veteran, but he's never been part of a "real" playoff run. Martin has with three different teams at different points in his career.

Martin is battle-tested. I'm not saying he's going to score 15—or even 10—points per game, but he would be the perfect addition to the Warriors' rotation. The Warriors lack a gritty player, and Martin is that if nothing else.

His toughness dates back to college. He was the consensus National Player of the Year for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2000, but he broke his leg in the Conference USA tournament. He missed the NCAA tournament weeks after earning the highest individual honor. 

Bouncing back from that would be tough. Martin was still selected No. 1 overall by the Brooklyn Nets in that year's draft. He's never become a superstar selection, but he's averaged double figures in 10 of his 12 NBA seasons. Only a resilient player could even do that.

Golden State would be Martin's fourth NBA team. He's been around the block, and he knows how to play with all varieties of players. He would give the Warriors a veteran presence off the bench and some energy to go with it. 

The Warriors will be an interesting team next season. Their rebounding and defense both come down to one thing: toughness. 

Martin would remedy a necessary need.