In exchange for Harden, PJ Tucker, and Filip Petrusev, the Sixers received the expiring contracts of Marcus Morris Sr., Nic Batum, Robert Covington, and KJ Martin as well as a slew of draft picks. Any of those players and picks will likely be involved in trade talks leading up to the February deadline as Philadelphia looks for upgrades.
Martin is one piece that is very intriguing when considering he’s only in his fourth season and is 22 years old. The young wing player from Los Angeles looks like he could be one player who can stick next to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey due to his cutting and athletic ability.
“I fit in great,” said Martin. “Obviously, I know the head of the snake is Joel and he brings a lot of attention. He gets double-teamed a lot and stuff like that so that can help me play to my strengths cutting, you know what I’m saying? Doing whatever and I feel like we got a good balance of everything.”
On top of the basketball stuff, Martin has a good relationship with people already in Philadelphia such as Maxey, De’Anthony Melton and assistant Rico Hines from the open runs at UCLA, and of course, the guys who were included in the trade with the Clippers.
“Obviously, Tyrese, he’s my age,” Martin explained. “He was in my draft class. I’ve known Tyrese since we played in high school. De’Anthony from LA, we played in the same conference in high school, so I’m familiar with a lot of guys out here, and obviously, Cov, Marcus, and Nico coming with me from LA so it’s gonna be good.”
Having all of that familiarity will help with the transition from LA to Philadelphia.
“For sure. 1000%,” Martin said with a smile. “We already have that relationship so that helps—that’s the biggest thing is having a relationship off the court and on the court, it’s just you know what I’m saying? Figuring out. Most of the guys, they know my strengths. We were in LA this past summer playing at Rico so they kinda know what I can do and they’re ready for it.”
— Ky Carlin (@Ky_Carlin) November 1, 2023
As far as his development is concerned, Martin does need to take steps forward with his 3-point shooting. He is a career 33.8% shooter from deep during his 208 games with the Houston Rockets and the Clippers. That is the next step in his development.
“Just working on my shot,” Martin stated. “I feel like this summer, I took a step forward in it, but staying super consistent and ball-handling and stuff like that. Me, I understand guys on my team and what their strengths are. Like how to just play around them, help them get open, and just use my athleticism.”