When the veteran minimum is all that you have to offer, players like Martin are what you should expect in return. He's past his prime, somewhat of a troublemaker and not nearly who he used to be in terms of production, but he's still an above-average body to put on the floor every night.
According to to ESPN New York reporter Jared Zwerling, the Knicks may not care about K-Mart's regression:
The Lakers are pursuing Kenyon Martin. The Knicks are likely too. But will he sign for the vet min? He makes a lot of sense for both teams.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 11, 2012
The first part of Zwerling's tweet would make me scratch my head. Putting Martin in Los Angeles with that team's star-studded rotation not only wouldn't make sense, but I'm not even sure how often he'd play.
New York is a different case.
Behind Amar'e Stoudemire, the Knicks don't have a solid power forward to come off the bench. Chris Copeland isn't an option you want to rely on at the four. Meanwhile, centers Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas are both capable, but make Martin look young at 38 and 39.
You have no idea how many miles are left on their legs.
There's no doubting that Martin has taken a step back on the floor. He averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 42 games for the Clippers last season, but he's still a gritty, athletic defender. He can defend multiple spots, and his energy would serve the Knicks' rotation well.
Even if Martin could bounce back to his 2010 form, he's a very solid pickup for the price tag New York would be paying.
Maybe he doesn't want to sign for the veteran minimum, but what choice does he have if he wants to stay in the NBA?
Martin can be disruptive, but he's worth the risk for the Knicks. New York needs whatever help it can get to contend in the Eastern Conference next season, and Martin is the best option available at this time.