The Knicks have re-signed veteran forward Kenyon Martin to a one-year deal worth $1.4 million, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Martin struck the deal, which will pay him the veteran's minimum salary, after the Knicks played the waiting game for several weeks with the 35-year-old. The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, which involves a harder salary cap and higher luxury-tax penalties, forced some teams into longer waiting periods to sign players this summer. Some players held out for the $3.18 million mini-midlevel contract, while teams hoped they would accept the less-lucrative veteran's minimum.
Luckily for the Knicks, Martin was willing to take the lesser salary. The power forward had a good showing with the Knicks last season, averaging 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and nearly a block per game in 24 minutes off the bench. Jason Kidd, now coach of the Brooklyn Nets, said during the first-round matchup against Boston, Martin "saved our season."
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft will be a much-needed defensive presence entering the 2013-2014 season. Along with recent acquisition, Metta World Peace and returning center Tyson Chandler, Martin will be expected to improve a Knicks defense that was ranked in the middle of the pack last season.
New York should be able to play the grizzled veteran limited minutes during the year so that he can have a greater impact in the playoffs. The franchise is stacked with frontcourt players since signing Peace and Andrea Bargnani this offseason, and they hope Amar'e Stoudemire will have a rebirth after missing most of 2012-2013 due to knee injuries.