Kenyon Martin is following the route forged by his teammates by taking his talents to China.
ESPN reports that Martin has agreed to a deal with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, becoming the fifth Denver Nugget to sign with an overseas basketball team. Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari both have contracts to play abroad, but they can return to the U.S. if the lockout is resolved. Martin must stay put for the entire season.
He’s in the same situation as his Denver teammates, Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith, both of whom agreed to contracts with Chinese teams that do not include NBA-opt out provisions. The three can return only after playing a full season in China.
Martin’s deal is reportedly worth around $3 million. His agent, Andy Miller, expressed Martin’s reasoning behind the signing, stating, “He’s looking forward to the opportunity and global expansion of his image and game.”
Martin joins the growing list of players who have decided to find work overseas during the NBA lockout. Yes, the level of talent overseas may not be as high as the NBA, but these players have shown a desire to stay sharp by competing against elite athletes in foreign venues.