NBA Trade Rumors: Rockets’ Kenyon Martin Jr. Drew Interest from Nets, Trail Blazers

Doric SamJune 27, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: Kenyon Martin Jr. #6 of the Houston Rockets reacts after a call during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on April 05, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 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 Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have a coveted trade chip in 21-year-old forward Kenyon Martin Jr., and they have been receiving inquiries about him.

Kelly Iko of The Athletic revealed two known teams that reached out to the Rockets in pursuit of Martin leading up to last Thursday's NBA draft.

"Teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets, also inquired about Kenyon Martin Jr. around the draft period," Iko wrote.

The Nets are looking to get younger after last season's disappointing finish in which they got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Blazers failed to make the postseason for the first time in nine years after a year riddled with injuries and a roster rebuild.

Last Monday, Iko reported that Martin had informed Rockets management that he would like to be traded this offseason. Iko noted that there wasn't a source of contention that influenced Martin's trade request, but rather the reality that Houston doesn't have a spot for him in the rotation next season.

The Rockets drafted forward Jabari Smith Jr. with the No. 3 overall pick. Leading up to the draft, Smith was widely projected as the top pick, so Houston may have landed a steal by having him fall. The addition of Smith to the frontcourt undoubtedly makes Martin more expendable for the Rockets.

The 2020 No. 52 pick after bypassing college, Martin appeared in 79 games last season for Houston and averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.0 minutes. Iko reported last week that Martin's "combination of age, athleticism and untapped potential" makes him "attractive" to teams around the NBA.