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Grading NY Knicks' Trade Deadline Performance

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Grading NY Knicks' Trade Deadline Performance
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Brewer's departure foreshadowed Martin's signing for New York.

The New York Knicks weren't the most active team at this year's trading deadline, but their moves certainly stand out from the rest—and not in a good way.

Just before the deadline struck, the team announced they shipped outcast swingman Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2014 second-round pick. 

The minor move paved the way for a more high-profile deal, as New York-inked veteran forward Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract, general manager Glen Grunwald announced (via ESPN New York).

 

Ronnie Brewer Deal

For a player that began the season as a starter on a conference-leading team, Ronnie Brewer suffered as dramatic a downfall as you could imagine. Through his first 17 games as a Knick, Brewer exceeded all expectations. He miraculously developed a three-point shot—he posted a 42-percent mark from downtown in that span—and averaged over a steal per contest. 

But as soon as the hot shooting cooled off, and the defense tailed off with it, Brewer was nowhere to be found. In his last 10 games in New York, he averaged 2.4 minutes per game.

The last time he logged double-digit minutes in a game was Jan. 17 against the New Orleans Hornets. Once Iman Shumpert returned from injury in early January, it was clear that Brewer had no role on the Knicks any longer.

It became clear that Brewer wasn't the player he appeared to be in the first month, but Brewer could have been part of the solution to the team's recent struggles.

USA TODAY Sports
Brewer was a key contributor to the Knicks early in the season.

It would be wise for Mike Woodson to opt for a Raymond Felton-Iman Shumpert backcourt with Jason Kidd coming off the bench. This leaves a void at the small forward spot, which Brewer was a candidate to fill.

Without Brewer, the duties at the 3 will likely be left to James White or Chris Copeland (via Jared Zwerling and Marc Berman) if Woodson decides to shuffle the lineup.

The second-round pick is a decent get for the Knicks, who are without several selections after trades for Carmelo Anthony, Marcus Camby and others. But it's up for debate whether Brewer was worth losing for a pick that's likely to be one of the last in the draft.

 

Kenyon Martin Addition

Brewer's departure freed up space for a free-agent signing, and Glen Grunwald wasted no time in doing so. Kenyon Martin joining the Tape shouldn't come as that much of a surprise considering the age of several vets on the roster already.

It'll be interesting to see what sort of shape K-Mart is in. The 35-year old has sat out the first four months of the season. He followed through with the same plan last season when he joined the Los Angeles Clippers in February 2011. He averaged just over 22 minutes per game in a limited role and averaged eight points and seven rebounds per 36 minutes on a career-worst 44-percent shooting.

With Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby's health status uncertain—there's still no timetable for their returns—the Knicks were in need of frontcourt depth.

Martin was able to put together some highlight-reel plays last season.

Free-agent forward Lou Amundson was another potential candidate to sign in New York, but the team decided to go in a more veteran direction in Martin. After Martin's 10 days are up, the team could still consider bringing in Amundson, but that's dependent on K-Mart's performance and Amundson's availability.

Martin will be teaming up with former New Jersey Nets teammate Jason Kidd. With the Nets, the K-Mart and Kidd duo led the team to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances. They'll likely be courted together simultaneously on the Knicks' reserve unit in the near future. 

The signing settled a need for New York but in a questionable way. Martin looked impressive at times but put up weak numbers in his limited stint in LA last year. Knicks fans will have to hope that the first overall pick of the 2000 NBA draft can show improvement and contribute consistently in spot minutes for the team in 2013. 

The question is this: Will Kenyon Martin contribute more to the Knicks' championship pursuit than Ronnie Brewer could have?

Based on Martin's 2012 play, the immediate future may not be bright for New York. Luckily for Woodson's club, the team will be able to cut the forward loose after 10 days if they're not satisfied. 

They'll just have to hope it won't get to that point, since we all know they need the depth down low.

Final Deadline Grade: B

Follow me on Twitter at @JSDorn6.

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